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Clooney’s Satellite Project Confirms Troop Presence in Sudan

Photo Courtesy - White House Press(WASHINGTON) – A satellite project co-founded by actor George Clooney has confirmed reports of company-sized deployments of Sudanese Armed Forces troops in the Abyei region of Sudan.

The Satellite Sentinel Project has spotted the troops on both sides of the volatile North-South border in numbers consistent with other sources that estimate as many as 55,000 SAF troops along the South Kordofan border.

“These first images and analysis have deepened our understanding of the evolving situation following Southern Sudan’s historic vote on independence,” Clooney said in a statement. “Although the SAF in South Kordofan apparently remains a force largely in hiding, we showed they are field-deployed, and they are controlling major roads by running checkpoints.”

The imagery, however, depicts stationary forces that “are not showing signs of advancing,” according to Clooney and the SSP. The news could mean more time to address unresolved issues between the North and South to avoid further conflict.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Sudan's foreign minister Wednesday and “reaffirmed U.S. willingness to take steps toward normalization of relations,” according to a readout. Those steps would come as Sudan makes continued efforts toward fulfilling commitments set forth by the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement which, among other obligations, would require a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Darfur.

The SSP was launched by Clooney late last year as a way to publically monitor security threats along the border.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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