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Mass killings on the rise in Darfur – UN report

20 February 20240 comments

A new UN report on Darfur is ringing alarm bells in the humanitarian world.

The report, yet to be officially released but briefed to media, describes a deteriorating situation in this western region of Sudan.

It comes as reports of ethnic killings and other atrocities in Darfur are already ramping up and amid calls for greater international action.

The report from the UN Security Council Panel of Experts of Sudan is set to expose more of the horrors taking place in the strife-torn nation.

The report outlines waves of devastating attacks by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), the former Jangaweed militia, and their allied militias in West Darfur’s capital of El Geneina.

It says the RSF killed between 10,000 and 15,000 people in and around the city last year.

And the UN report confirms the RSF and allies have been targeting ethnic Massalit civilians in attacks that “may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.”

NGOs working in the region have also reported that the RSF and allied militias carried out widespread ethnically targeted killings, sexual violence, and torture against predominantly ethnic Massalit civilians.

The fresh atrocities have forced more than half a million people to flee across the border to Chad, part of the 10.7 million people who have been uprooted from their homes across Sudan, most since the conflict broke out in April.

Sudan’s level of internal displacement – nine million people – is the highest in the world.

The UN panel’s report names key individuals within the RSF and militias who oversaw atrocities in Darfur.

It also makes allegations against the United Arab Emirates for shipping arms and ammunition to the RSF in Darfur in violation of the UN arms embargo.

The UN Security Council has condemned abuses in Darfur, but is yet to take action to stop the perpetrators responsible for atrocities nor speak out about violations of its own arms embargo.

Human rights NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called on the Security Council to act quickly.

“The UN Security Council should add the names of perpetrators of serious crimes to their general sanctions list, and follow up on all allegations of illicit arms transfers,” it said in a statement.

“Other governments should do the same, using evidence in the new UN report to take action under their own sanction regimes,” HRW said, in a statement.

“Atrocities are continuing in Darfur, and the world is not doing enough to stop them. And the former won’t likely change until the latter does,” it said.

Other independent reports in January said between 10,000 and 15,000 people were killed in El Geneina in Sudan’s West Darfur region last year in ethnic violence by the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and allied Arab militia.

These came after another UN report estimated that about 12,000 people have been killed across Sudan since war erupted on April 15, 2023, between the Sudanese army and the RSF.

Read more here:

Ethnic killings in one Sudan city left up to 15,000 dead, UN report says | Reuters

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