UN sounds alarm on Darfur, warns world not to repeat history

posted in: Society | 0

Escalating bloodshed since the outbreak of civil war in Sudan could lead to another genocide, the United Nations warned after a sharp uptick of violence in Darfur.

The U.N. Refugee Agency said on Friday that it was “gravely concerned” following the mass killing of at least 800 people within 72 hours as part of the ethnic cleansing of minorities conducted by the Arab paramilitary Rapid Support Forces and its allies in the Ardamata refugee camp in West Darfur this week.

Reports from Ardamata detail how paramilitary forces armed with assault rifles went door to door shooting men and boys, leaving their corpses scattered on the street.

About 30,000 non-Arab Sudanese civilians — largely members of the Masalit tribe — had sought shelter in the camp since mid-April, when war broke out between Sudan’s two top generals, Sudanese military Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and RSF Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo.

The U.S. Embassy in Khartoum attributed the mass killing to the RSF, further expressing concern about the RSF’s “pattern of abuses in connection with their military offensives.”

“We are deeply disturbed by eyewitness reports of serious human rights abuses by the RSF and affiliated militias, including killings in Ardamata, West Darfur, ethnic targeting of the Masalit community leaders and members, and the arbitrary detention of civilians, including human rights defenders and activists,” the embassy’s official account posted to X, formerly known as Twitter, on Wednesday. “These horrifying actions once again highlight the RSF’s pattern of abuses in connection with their military offensives.”

U.N. High Commissioner Filippo Grandi on Friday compared the current violence to the U.S.-recognized genocide in Darfur, in which an estimated 300,000 people died between 2003 and 2005, warning that a “similar dynamic might be developing.”

“Twenty years ago, the world was shocked by the terrible atrocities and human rights violations in Darfur. We fear a similar dynamic might be developing. An immediate end to the fighting and unconditional respect for the civilian population by all parties are crucial to avoid another catastrophe,” said Grandi.

The U.N. Refugee Agency — also known as the UNHCR — had also admonished the world community earlier in the week, saying it was “scandalously silent, though violations of international humanitarian law persist with impunity,” and that it is “shameful that the atrocities committed 20 years ago in Darfur can be happening again today with such little attention.”

More than 4.8 million people have been displaced internally in Sudan and 1.2 million have fled to neighboring countries since April. According to the U.N. at least 8,000 people fled Sudan to Chad last week alone.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.