Malakal: Latest satellite images released by DigitalGlobe have revealed heavy destruction in the northeast region of South Sudan, in the oil-producing region of Malakal. The region has witnessed widespread conflict but it was expected that a recent ceasefire would put an end to the month-long violence that killed nearly 10,000 people and displaced over 800,000 in the country that has been independent for just 31 months. However, things there don’t seem to be improving.
The three part image above shows a portion of Malakal on 6 December 2013 which is undamaged, then on 18 January 2014 with some damage (indicated by red arrow), and on 15 March 2014 with heavy damage. Destruction increased massively from January to March, with the latest analysis indicating 22 percent of the town was destroyed.
An analysis done by UNITAR-UNOSAT identified a total of 9,878 destroyed residential and related structures and a total of 204 destroyed warehouse or commercial structures throughout the area analyzed. Comparison with pre-conflict building data for Malakal indicates the 22 percent of the city has been destroyed. In the images, the extent of the conflict’s destruction and ferocity is evident from space.
Credit: Satellite image analysis by UNITAR-UNOSAT
Image copyright: DigitalGlobe