July 18, 2023
By: Eva Kahan
The Bottom Line Up Front

Sudan Shahid is a global collaborative effort to collect, monitor, and analyze visual documentation of surging violence across Sudan.

Since the overthrow of former Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir, C4ADS has been working to support civilian leadership in Sudan in combating the illicit networks which block the road towards democratization. After the October 2021 coup, we moved quickly to map the economic network of Sudan’s “deep state”, in order to prevent military businesses from solidifying their control over Sudan’s economy, as discussed in our Breaking the Bank report. As the power struggle between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) escalated earlier this year, we knew we would have to reshape our work to meet the needs of our Sudanese partners contending with a new wave of violence across Sudan.

Through a collaboration with the Centre for Information Resilience and the Sudan Human Rights Hub, we created a tool for monitoring the violence documented by our local partners in Sudan with the simple click of a button:

With this tool, users can navigate an interactive map that allows for easy filtering, sorting, and searchings of specific incidents based on factors such as time, actors involved, and key words.

Alternatively, users can get a big-picture glimpse of the escalating violence in Sudan with a timelapse feature showing the emergence of pins on the map over a selected time period.

Our Partners

This platform is named Sudan Shahid (pronounced: shaa-hid, the Arabic word for witness) in honor of the incredible partners on the ground in Sudan and around the world, who have filmed, documented, and shared documentation of the recent violence in order to bear witness and increase awareness in the international community. We are grateful to the partners who have supported the collection of this valuable information, namely:

Artrika Database, an online data storage project to preserve data and information of the people who were displaced from their homeland to IDP camps by the Sudanese government. The database uses research and oral history as tools for data collection;

And many others who have chosen to remain anonymous.

We are eager to welcome in new partners to Sudan Shahid, and can provide training and capacity-building in order to support further documentation of this conflict around the world. Interested partners should reach out to [email protected].

About the Data

Sudan Shahid draws on a unified database of videos, photos, satellite imagery or other media related to the 2023 conflict in Sudan that members of the Sudan Shahid team have been collecting and verifying since April 15, 2023. The map showcases data from three sources:

  • CIR: Open-source media (including photos and videos) verified by CIR.
  • C4ADS Partner Network: open- and closed-source media (including photos and videos), which have been provided by C4ADS partner organizations located in Sudan.
  • Satellite: Data provided or captured by satellites, showing conflict events that may not be documented using on-the-ground media sources, which is made available on open source platforms to increase public awareness.

Why it Matters

Just a few months in, the war in Sudan has reignited ethnic violence in Darfur and triggered refugee crises in neighboring countries. It is crucial that the global community keep a close eye on developments within the country to prevent further human rights abuses by local actors, and cascading international consequences. We built Sudan Shahid to raise the voices of those working tirelessly to protect human rights and restore peace in Sudan. Without their bravery, the world would be unaware of the full extent of the violence once again affecting the people of Sudan.