Sudanese militias committed ethnic killings and rapes that may be war crimes

tanzania – Militia groups fighting to seize power in Sudan and their allied militias have carried out widespread ethnic killings and rapes while controlling large parts of western Darfur, which could amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity. United Nations experts say in a new report.

A report to the U.N. Security Council obtained by The Associated Press on Thursday paints a horrifying picture of the agency. Arab-led rapid support force atrocities against Africans in Darfur. It also details how RSF managed to control four of Darfur’s five provinces through a complex financial network involving dozens of companies.

Sudan was plunged into turmoil in April, with long-simmering tensions between the army led by General Abdel Fattah Burhan and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, which he commands. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalourban fighting broke out in the capital, Khartoum.

Although fighting spread to other parts of the country, it took a different form in Sudan’s Darfur region. A brutal attack on African civilians by the RSF. Especially the Masalit people.

Twenty years ago, Darfur became synonymous with genocide and war crimes by the notorious Janjaweed Arab militia, particularly against people who identify as Central or East African. Karim Khan, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, said in late January that there was reason to believe that the legacy appears to have returned. Both sides have committed possible war crimescrimes against humanity or genocide in Darfur.

The panel of experts said Darfur was experiencing the “worst violence since 2005”.

Due to the ongoing conflict, massive humanitarian crisis Experts say about 6.8 million people have fled, of the 1.4 million who have fled to other countries, including 5.4 million within Sudan and about 555,000 to neighboring Chad.

Both RSF and rival Sudanese government forces used heavy artillery and shelling in populated areas, causing widespread destruction of vital water, sanitation, education, and medical facilities.

Experts said in a 47-page report that the RSF and militias targeted locations in Darfur where displaced people had found shelter, civilian settlements and medical facilities.

Sources said the panel said between 10,000 and 15,000 people were killed in just one city, Geneina, the capital of West Darfur state near the Chad border.

the expert said Sexual violence by RSF And its allied militias were widespread.

The Panel noted that, according to reliable sources in Geneina, 14-year-old women and girls were raped by RSF elements inside UN World Food Program storage facilities controlled by paramilitary groups, in their homes, or when they returned home for collection. said. Possessions after being displaced by violence. Additionally, 16 girls were reportedly abducted by her RSF soldiers and raped in RSF homes.

“Racial slurs against Masalit and non-Arab communities formed part of the attack,” the commission said. “Neighborhoods and homes were continually attacked, looted, torched, and vandalized,” and residents were harassed, assaulted, sexually abused, and sometimes He was executed.

Experts said prominent members of the Masalit community were identified by the RSF, which had a list, and that the group’s leaders were harassed and some executed. At least two lawyers, three prominent doctors, seven staff members and a human rights activist who was monitoring and reporting on the incident were also killed.

The RSF and its allied militias looted and destroyed all hospitals and medical storage facilities, resulting in the collapse of medical services and the deaths of 37 women suffering from childbirth complications and 200 patients requiring kidney dialysis, the commission said. the meeting said.

The report said that after the killing of West Darfur state’s Wali (governor) in June, the Masarit and African communities decided to seek protection in al-Damata, outside Juneina.The convoy of several thousand people left in the middle of the night, but when it arrived at the bridge, the RSF and its allied militias fired indiscriminatelysurvivors reported an estimated 1,000 deaths.

The Committee stressed that unjustified and indiscriminate attacks against civilians, including torture, rape, murder, and destruction of critical civilian infrastructure, amount to war crimes under the 1949 Geneva Conventions.

RSF was formed from Janjaweed fighters by former Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir, who ruled Sudan for 30 years. Overthrown in 2019 popular uprisingHe is wanted by the International Criminal Court on suspicion of genocide and other crimes during the Darfur conflict in the 2000s.

According to the panel, “RSF’s control of Darfur depended on three lines of support: the Arab allied community, a dynamic and complex financial network, and new military supply lines running through Chad, Libya, and South Sudan.”

Both the Sudanese army and the RSF have engaged in extensive recruitment efforts across Darfur since late 2022, but the RSF has been more successful, experts said. The company then “invested significant profits from its pre-war gold business into several industries and built a network of 50 companies.”

RSF’s complex financial network “enabled it to acquire weapons, pay salaries, fund media campaigns, lobby, and obtain support from other political and armed groups,” experts said. Ta.

us ambassador Linda Thomas GreenfieldDuring a visit to Chad in September, he called the report’s findings “horrifying” and expressed “deep disappointment” that the UN Security Council and the international community had not paid more attention to the allegations.

“The people of Sudan feel forgotten,” she says.

Foreign Secretary Thomas-Greenfield lifts ban on cross-border aid to the Sudanese military from Chad and facilitates cross-border aid from the east, in light of the humanitarian catastrophe in Sudan and the wider region he demanded. In a statement on Wednesday, she also demanded that the RSF stop looting humanitarian warehouses and that both sides stop harassing humanitarian workers.

“The Council must act urgently to alleviate human suffering, hold perpetrators accountable and make them pay for their crimes. Sudanese conflict coming to an end” said the US ambassador. “We’re running out of time.”

Copyright 2024 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

https://www.local10.com/news/world/2024/03/01/un-experts-sudans-paramilitary-forces-carried-out-ethnic-killings-and-rapes-that-may-be-war-crimes/ Sudanese militias committed ethnic killings and rapes that may be war crimes

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