Back in April, Christine flagged the effort by Google and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to map the atrocities committed in Darfur using images from Google Earth. That undertaking is now joined by the Eyes on Darfur project, which allows Web surfers to view before-and-after high-resolution satellite images of destroyed villages in Darfur and eastern Chad, as well as monitor a dozen villages currently at risk. Launched this month by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and Amnesty International, the project aims to add images from commercial satellites to the online database every few days in order to monitor vulnerable areas and create a record of abuses committed.
Of course, Sudanese President Omar Bashir probably doesn't even care that the world is watching. This is, after all, the same guy who appointed Ahmed Harun in charge of dealing with the humanitarian crisis in Darfur. Harun, formerly Sudan's minister of the interior, was indicted in April by the ICC for allegedly coordinating murders and rapes of civilians in Darfur through funding and inciting janjaweed militias over the past several years. It's a gross irony that he's now in charge of helping and protecting the same people he's been accused of terrorizing. But then, that's just business as usual in Khartoum these days.
Yet U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon seems cautiously optimistic that his new agreement with Bashir on a peacekeeping force will finally put a stop to the violence. With Eyes on Darfur, we'll be able to see for ourselves just how well that deal is working.