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Sudan: UN Report Reveals Ethnic Killings in Darfur by RSF

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Photo Source: Britannica

In a distressing report to the United Nations (UN) Security Council, UN experts have accused the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and their allied militias in Sudan of engaging in widespread ethnic killings and sexual assaults in West Darfur.

According to the report which was procured by the Associated Press on Thursday, Feb. 29, these acts may constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The RSF, known for its Arab dominance, has been particularly brutal towards African civilians, especially targeting the Masalit ethnic group. The report revealed how the RSF has managed to dominate four of Darfur’s five states through intricate financial networks and support from various companies.

U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, has condemned the findings as “horrible” and criticised the international community for its lack of attention to the situation in Sudan. She has called for immediate action to alleviate human suffering, hold perpetrators accountable, and end the conflict.

The conflict, which erupted in April 2023 due to escalating tensions between Sudan’s army and the RSF, has now expanded beyond the capital, Khartoum, bringing unprecedented violence to Darfur.

Furthermore, the International Criminal Court’s prosecutor has raised concerns over potential war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocides in Darfur.

The humanitarian crisis triggered by this conflict has displaced approximately 6.8 million people, with over half a million seeking refuge in Chad. Both the RSF and government forces have been criticised for their indiscriminate use of heavy artillery in populated areas, severely impacting essential services like water, sanitation, healthcare, and education.

The UN report detailed horrific instances of sexual violence, including rapes of women and girls, some as young as 14, by RSF members. It also highlighted the targeted attacks and killings of Masalit community leaders and professionals like lawyers, doctors, and human rights activists who were documenting the atrocities.

The RSF’s actions have also led to the destruction of healthcare facilities, resulting in the deaths of patients unable to receive necessary medical. The experts’ report accused the RSF and its militias of committing war crimes under the Geneva Conventions through their attacks against civilians.

The RSF, formed from Janjawid fighters by Sudan’s former president Omar al-Bashir, has utilised its financial resources from pre-war gold trading to establish a network of companies supporting its military operations.

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