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Category: Africa

August 14, 2017

By Christiaan Triebert

Ghana’s Atewa Forest: Monitoring Mining Which May Threaten Water Sources

Executive Summary Ghana has agreed with China to develop its bauxite industry, but concerns have been raised that mining activities in the Atewa Forest Reserve may threaten the country’s water supply. What can open source information tell us about the forest and the mining activities? While no bauxite mining is taking place to date, satellite imagery…

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August 4, 2017

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

How Google Analytics Codes Unearthed a Network of South African Fake News Sites

In July 2015, Lawrence Alexander published a report uncovering a number of ostensibly local, Ukrainian news sites that were actually operated out of the so-called “Troll Factory” of St. Petersburg, at 55 Savushkina Street. Lawrence found the connection between these sites by locating a shared Google Analytics ID, which showed that the sites were managed…

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June 26, 2017

By Alberto Fittarelli

The Strange Tale of the Georgians in Congo

Glossary DRC — Democratic Republic of Congo (capital: Kinshasa) FARDC — DRC Armed Forces (Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo) FAC — DRC Air Force (Force Aérienne Congolaise) PMCs — Private Military Contractors, or Private Military Companies M23 — March 23 Movement, a Tutsi rebellion movement in Eastern DRC FDLR — Democratic Forces…

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March 21, 2017

By Jacob Beeders

What Happened in Kulbiyow, Somalia: An Open Source Investigation

The Official Story On Friday January 27, a Kenyan Defense Force (KDF) military installation in the Somalian village of Kulbiyow was attacked by militants from the al-Qaeda affiliated group al-Shabaab.  In the immediate aftermath, significant uncertainty existed as to the outcome of the attack. In an official statement, Kenyan official estimates placed KDF casualties at…

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February 20, 2017

By Alberto Fittarelli

Tracking the Nigerian Armed Forces’ COIN offensive in North-East Nigeria

Scope This research examines video footage officially released over 2016 by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), and complements it with other open source information – including press statements by the Nigerian Army, social media content, news outlets, and forum boards. Objective is to track the geographical focus of the counterinsurgency (COIN) offensive launched in 2014…

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November 6, 2016

By Jacob Beeders

ISIS’s Somali Franchise Seizes Qandala: Background and Significance

On Thursday, October 27, militants from the self-declared Islamic State’s Somali affiliate seized the port town of Qandala, in the semi-autonomous northern Puntland region of Somalia. Eyewitness accounts claim that after cutting off communications, militants faced no resistance as they entered the town. To confirm their capture of the town, ISIS’s propaganda wing released a…

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August 20, 2016

By Chris Biggers

African Drone Apron Update

The U.S. continues to expand drone aprons at African airfields in Djibouti and Niger, recent satellite imagery acquired by Digitalglobe confirms. Space snapshots acquired in July 2016 of Djibouti’s Chabelley airfield show the addition of four more clamshell shelters since previous reporting in March/April 2016. Three new line of sight communication towers and two ku-band…

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June 3, 2016

By Chris Biggers

Niger: Agadez Airport Imagery Update

New satellite imagery available in Google Earth shows progress being made refurbishing the airfield at Aérienne 201, otherwise known as Mano Dayak International Airport. Space snapshots acquired in May by Astrium show milling efforts complete as well as the runway and turnarounds fully repaved since the project began in September. Previous imagery shows that surface repairs…

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May 29, 2016

By Chris Biggers

Algeria: Mers El Kebir Imagery Update

The latest commercial satellite imagery available in Google Earth shows some new developments at Mers El Kebir, Algeria’s second military region naval base subordinate to HQ in Algiers. Space snapshots acquired in February show the completion of a renovated Kilo berthing area now sporting three finger piers. The Kilo had relocated to two of the…

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