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15. Sudan, 2004
Commercial satellite imagery can identify ethnic cleansing and humanitarian crises when "cued" (or supplied precise coordinates on where to point a satellite) by other sources, including humanitarian relief organizations and NGOs on the ground. Unfortunately, while convincing to expert eyes, the images alone may not be persuasive enough to help solve such crises. A glaring case in point is imagery of Darfur released by the U.S. State Department in 2004 (above) and by humanitarian groups in 2007, which has not succeeded in motivating international organizations to apply the necessary political pressure and sanctions on the Sudanese government to end what appears to be genocide. In a case such as that in Darfur, "ground-truth" imagery, when available from on-site sources, is often more dramatic and thus more persuasive in making the case of genocide than blurry images from orbit. In this detail from an image of a destroyed village near Shataya in Darfur taken on June 21, 2004, black rings are foundations of destroyed huts, while red areas indicate remaining healthy vegetation.

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