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‘RSF atrocities in Sudan and Darfur signify political defeat’


The litany of atrocities, murder, rape, robbery, and trail of mayhem attributed to and alleged against the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in Darfur and across Sudan during the course of the war means that the RSF “has become a tribal militia that has no control or linkage, has lost the battle politically, and cannot become a credible ruling body responsible for the fate of Sudan and its citizens,” according to leading Sudanese political analyst Dr Suliman Baldo, executive director of the Sudan Transparency and Policy Tracker (STPT).

In an interview with Radio Dabanga on Tuesday, Baldo asserts that “the RSF troops have continued to behave with such brutality and commit these criminal behaviours and atrocities on a regular basis. Racism based on race and ethnicity of citizens, especially in El Geneina and in Ardamata in West Darfur.”

‘Violations have caused a political defeat for the RSF, that claims to be fighting for democracy and the protection of civilians…’

Baldo stresses that “these violations undoubtedly caused a political defeat for the RSF, that claims to be fighting for democracy and the protection of civilians”. He said that RSF behaviours “emptied their promise of its meaning.”

“There is no doubt that the RSF has committed serious and documented violations. Commanders overseeing field operations are responsible for them and will be accountable to the international community,” Baldo says

‘The RSF has become a tribal militia that has no control or linkage…’

At the military level, the RSF “has become a tribal militia that has no control or linkage, its supreme command lacks the ability to control its actions and stop cadres’ disgraceful behaviour on the ground”. Baldo asserts that if the RSF could, it would, however “these forces are now militias that settle scores violently at the local level, and the leaders have no option but to [try to] curtail these destructive behaviours that undermine their political and military objectives”.

Baldo suggests that “this is also an indication of the lack of interest and sensitivity of the RSF leaders regarding the crimes committed by their forces on the ground”.

‘This is an indication of the lack of interest and sensitivity of the RSF leaders regarding the crimes committed by their forces on the ground…’

Baldo chimes with Chairperson of the Civil Front to Stop the War and former Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok, who, in two separate letters addressed to the UN Security Council (UNSC) and UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Monday, urges for the continuation of the mandate of UNITAMS, as there is “no legitimate government today” that has the right to request to terminate the UNITAMS mission, after the Sudanese government issued a decision to terminate it “with immediate effect” on November 17.

Baldo joined the appeal to the United Nations to increase its attention to the situation in Sudan and not to respond to the de facto government’s demand for the UN to end the mission.

Human Rights Watch

As previously reported by Radio Dabanga, in a new report on Monday entitled Sudan: New Mass Ethnic Killings, Pillage in Darfur, Human Rights Watch urges the UN Security Council to act to protect civilians, and punish abusive Rapid Support Forces (RSF) commanders. HRW confirm that “the RSF and allied militias killed hundreds of civilians in West Darfur in early November 2023. Forces also looted, assaulted, and unlawfully detained dozens of Masalit in Ardamata, a suburb of El Geneina”.

According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), an estimated 800 people were killed during the early November attacks in Ardamata. Local rights monitors interviewed survivors arriving in Chad and estimated the death toll of mainly civilians at between 1,300 and 2,000, including dozens killed on the road to Chad. At least 8,000 people have fled into Chad, joining around 450,000, mostly women and children, displaced by attacks in West Darfur notably between April and June.

HRW interviewed 20 Massalit people who fled Ardamata to eastern Chad between November 1-10, including three SAF soldiers, who described a spree of killings, shelling, unlawful detentions, sexual violence, ill-treatment, and looting. All interviewees are identified by pseudonyms for their protection. HRW also analysed 8 videos and images posted on social media that show the Rapid Support Forces detaining over 200 men and boys in Ardamata. One video shows the fighters beating a group of men.

HRW says it shared a letter with the Rapid Support Forces, sharing findings and questions, but received no response before the date of publishing.

UN

The United Nations is also “verifying credible reports” of widespread violence against members of the Masalit community in Darfur, particularly in the El Geneina area, “allegedly perpetrated by Arab militia groups with possible complicity by the RSF between November 4 and 6”.



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