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RSF accused of war crimes, ethnic cleansing in Darfur

RSF accused of war crimes, ethnic cleansing in Darfur

THE paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and allied militias conducted a widespread ethnic cleansing campaign against Masalit and other non-Arab civilians in El Geneina and other parts of West Darfur state in 2023, according to a new report by Human Rights Watch. The report describes the killings as among “the worst atrocities” committed against civilians since Sudan’s war erupted last year, and calls for governments and international institutions to investigate whether the evidence shows that RSF leadership intended to commit genocide. Men and adolescent boys were singled out during attacks, but children and women were also targeted, and fighters carried out rapes,…
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Truce crumbles in Sudanese army’s last Darfur holdout

Truce crumbles in Sudanese army’s last Darfur holdout

ATTACKS around the Sudanese city of al-Fashir have shattered a truce that protected it from a year-old war, leading to warnings of a new wave of inter-communal violence and humanitarian risks for 1.6 million residents crammed into the North Darfur capital. Al-Fashir is the last major city in the vast, western Darfur region not under the control of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF). The RSF and its allies swept through four other Darfur state capitals last year and were blamed for a campaign of ethnically driven killings against non-Arab groups and other abuses in West Darfur. The fight for al-Fashir, a historic centre…
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UN warns 800,000 people in Sudan city in ‘extreme, immediate danger’

UN warns 800,000 people in Sudan city in ‘extreme, immediate danger’

SOME 800,000 people in a Sudanese city are in "extreme and immediate danger" as worsening violence advances and threatens to "unleash bloody intercommunal strife throughout Darfur," top U.N. officials warned the Security Council. War erupted in Sudan one year ago between the Sudanese army (SAF) and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), creating the world's largest displacement crisis. U.N. political affairs chief Rosemary DiCarlo told the 15-member Security Council that clashes between RSF and SAF-aligned members of the Joint Protection Forces were nearing El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur. "Fighting in El Fasher could unleash bloody intercommunal strife throughout Darfur," DiCarlo said, echoing a warning by U.N.…
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US pushes peace talks to avert ‘point of no return’ in Sudan

US pushes peace talks to avert ‘point of no return’ in Sudan

The United States hopes for a relaunch of talks aimed at ending the conflict in Sudan and opening up humanitarian access soon after Ramadan ends in mid-April, Washington's newly appointed envoy said on Thursday. Saudi Arabia and the United States led talks in Jeddah last year to try to reach a truce between Sudan's army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), but the negotiations faltered amid competing international peace initiatives. "We need to restart formal talks. We hope that will happen as soon as Ramadan is over," Tom Perriello, who took up his role as U.S. special envoy to…
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ICC prosecutor believes warring parties committing war crimes in Darfur

ICC prosecutor believes warring parties committing war crimes in Darfur

THE International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor told the U.N. Security Council that "there are grounds to believe" both Sudan's regular army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) are committing war crimes in Darfur at present. War erupted in Sudan on April 15, 2023, between the Sudanese armed forces and the RSF. ICC prosecutor Karim Khan launched an investigation in July last year into the surge of hostilities in Sudan's Darfur region. The ICC's founding treaty, the Rome Statute, gives the court jurisdiction over four major crimes - genocide, crimes against humanity, crimes of aggression and war crimes - that are grave…
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“Put the Sudanese people first, silence the guns, and seek a negotiated end to this needless war.”

“Put the Sudanese people first, silence the guns, and seek a negotiated end to this needless war.”

SUDAN is no stranger to humanitarian crises. Indeed, its recent history has been punctuated by episodes of drought, famine, and war-induced starvation. But never before have we witnessed a crisis at this scale. The African and international response to this disaster has been woefully inadequate. However, as all of us know, the African Union and the United Nations have a history of engagement in humanitarian crises in Sudan and in seeking to end violence against civilians. As long ago as 1989, the United Nations set up its first-ever humanitarian operation that crossed the frontline of an active war, to bring…
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Advances give Sudanese paramilitary force momentum in seven-month war

Advances give Sudanese paramilitary force momentum in seven-month war

GAINS for Sudan's Rapid Support Forces (RSF) across western and southern parts of the country have broken months of stalemate in their war with the army, bolstering the paramilitary force's ambition and giving it a stronger hand at talks in Jeddah. The RSF's dominance in its Darfur powerbase and the advances it has made in other regions stretching eastwards to Khartoum, the capital, has prompted speculation that Sudan could suffer another split, 12 years after losing South Sudan. However, analysts and diplomats say it is unclear how the RSF could govern a breakaway territory. The force is seeking instead to…
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Fighting rages in Sudan’s capital as army tries to cut off supply routes

Fighting rages in Sudan’s capital as army tries to cut off supply routes

FIERCE battles broke out across Omdurman, the western part of Sudan's wider capital, as the army tried to cut off supply routes used by its paramilitary rivals to bring reinforcements into the city. The army launched air strikes and heavy artillery, and there were ground battles in several parts of Omdurman, witnesses said. The RSF said it had shot down a fighter jet, and residents posted footage that appeared to show pilots ejecting from a plane. There was no immediate comment from the army. The conflict between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) erupted on April 15,…
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Air strikes, artillery fire escalate as factions battle in Sudan capital

Air strikes, artillery fire escalate as factions battle in Sudan capital

AIR strikes and artillery fire intensified sharply across Sudan's capital, residents said, as the army sought to defend its bases from paramilitary rivals it has been fighting for more than a month. The air strikes, explosions and clashes could be heard in the south of Khartoum, and there was heavy shelling across the River Nile in parts of the adjoining cities of Bahri and Omdurman, witnesses said. The conflict between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) has triggered unrest elsewhere in Sudan, especially in the western region of Darfur, but is concentrated in Khartoum. It has caused…
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Khartoum under bombardment as Sudan’s rivals talk

Khartoum under bombardment as Sudan’s rivals talk

SHELLING and air strikes pounded parts of Sudan's capital with little sign that warring military factions were ready to back down in a month-long conflict that has killed hundreds despite ceasefire talks in Saudi Arabia. Khartoum and the adjoining cities of Bahri and Omdurman across the Nile's two branches have been the main theatre of conflict along with western Darfur province since the army and the Rapid Support Forces paramilitary started fighting on April 15. Shelling struck Bahri and air strikes hit Omdurman early on Sunday, according to a Reuters reporter and witnesses. "There were heavy air strikes near us in Saliha…
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