RSF and Arab Forces in Sudan Accused of Raping non-Arabs in Darfur
Kanako Mita and Noriko Watanabe
Modern Tokyo Times
Conflict in Sudan is once more witnessing the singling out of non-Arab Masalits by Arabs in Darfur. This concerns ethnic massacres, rape, and other shocking crimes.
The conflict pitting government forces backed by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan (head of the Sudanese armed forces) and Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (the leader of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces – RSF) is putting enormous pressure on various regions throughout Sudan.
Recently, the United Nations (UN) condemned the “wanton killings” of non-Arab Masalits by Arab militias in West Darfur.
Belkis Wille (Human Rights Watch – Crisis and Conflict Director) said: “The Rapid Support Forces and allied militias appear responsible for a staggering number of rapes and other war crimes during their attack on El Geneina.”
Al Jazeera reports: “UN officials warned in June that the fighting in Darfur has taken an ethnic dimension, with the RSF and allied militias targeting African communities.”
Independent experts linked to the UN accused the RSF “… of widespread use of rape and other forms of sexual violence.”
Sudan Tribune reports, “Since the start of armed conflict in Sudan between the Sudan Armed Forces and the RSF on April 15, the RSF and predominantly Arab allied militias have carried out repeated attacks on towns and villages in the West Darfur state.”
AP reports, “Darfur was the scene of genocidal war in the early 2000s, when state-backed Arab militias known as the Janjaweed were accused of widespread killings, rapes and other atrocities. The Janjaweed later evolved into the RSF.”
Ravina Shamdasani (UN rights office spokesperson) said: “People fleeing El Geneina must be guaranteed safe passage and humanitarian agencies allowed to access to the area to collect the remains of those killed.”
Urgent action is needed in West Darfur and other areas blighted by the ongoing conflict in Sudan. Also, the UN – and other international and African institutions – need to press all forces involved in ethnic massacres and attacks against women.
Lee Jay Walker says, “It is often forgotten that Arabs in the land of Mecca in Saudi Arabia only stopped slavery in the 1960s. Accordingly, with ISIS enslaving Yazidis in modern times in Iraq, it wasn’t surprising that Arabs also continued to enslave in Sudan during the war against the mainly African Animists and Christians in the south – which led to the creation of South Sudan. Therefore, even black African Muslims in Sudan can’t escape the bloodletting and the slavery legacy of Arabs in Sudan.”
Darfur, South Kordofan, and other regions of Sudan were fragile before clashes emerged between the Sudanese armed forces and the RSF. However, with the crisis spiraling, Darfur and South Kordofan are witnessing growing instability – including ethnic massacres and the rape of non-Arab women.
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