West Darfur Mass Grave Found in Sudan

West Darfur Mass Grave Found in Sudan

Kanako Mita and Sawako Utsumi

Modern Tokyo Times

Military clashes in Sudan between government forces backed by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan (head of the Sudanese armed forces) and Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (known as Hemedti – the leader of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces) are putting pressure on other regions blighted by ethnic divisions.

Accordingly, news of 87 people (including women and children) being found in a mass grave in West Darfur is a grim reminder of recent evil deeds in this part of Sudan.

Many people in the mass grave belong to the Masalit ethnic group – which faces endless persecution from Arab militias aligned with the Rapid Support Forces.

Voice of America reports, “The U.N. said there was credible evidence that Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces paramilitary group was responsible.”

The mass grave was found in the environs of Geneina.

Reports also state that traumatized civilians were forced to bury the slain individuals. Hence, one can only imagine local people’s fear, sorrow, and vulnerability.

Reuters reports, Ethnically motivated bloodshed has escalated in recent weeks in step with fighting between rival military factions that erupted in April and has brought the country to the brink of civil war. In El Geneina, witnesses and rights groups have reported waves of attacks by the RSF and Arab militias against the non-Arab Masalit people, including shootings at close range.”

Volker Turk, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, said: “I condemn in the strongest terms the killing of civilians and hors de combat individuals, and I am further appalled by the callous and disrespectful way the dead, along with their families and communities, were treated.” 

Ravina Shamdasani (UN rights office spokesperson) recently said: “Horrifying accounts of armed ‘Arab’ militia backed by the Rapid Support Forces killing people fleeing El Geneina on foot” have been provided to the rights office by people fleeing to Chad.

The BBC reports – concerning the actions of Arab militias in the past conflict in Darfur – that Arab militias (known as the Janjaweed) “… were accused of widespread atrocities and ethnic killings, described as the first genocide of the 21st Century.”

Lee Jay Walker recently said: “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.”

Immediate action is needed in Sudan to stem the cycle of violence.

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