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Genocide Emergency Sudan

July 31, 2023

Genocide Emergency: Sudan

First published by Genocide Watch July 31, 2023. Taken down by hackers in October, 2023.

Revised and reissued May 31, 2024

Sudanese children fleeing West Darfur into Chad. credit: Reuters

According to the U.N. Human Rights Office, in just one massacre, at least 87 people — mostly from the ethnic African Masalit tribe — were killed by the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces and an affiliated Arab militia. Their bodies were dumped in a grave just outside the West Darfur city of Geneina, the agency said.

That estimate of the deaths in Geneina massacres has been revised by Reuters and independent investigators to be at least 28,000 Masalit people murdered in Geneina alone.

Conflicts between the Arab dominated Sudanese government and non-Arab ethnic groups have resulted in numerous genocides targeting non-Arab people in Sudan. Genocide became Sudanese state policy when the Arab supremacist Arab Gathering seized power in Khartoum in 1983. Since then, determined to dominate all of Sudan, the Sudanese army and Arab militias have massacred hundreds of thousands of non-Arab people in the Nuba Mountains, Darfur, the Blue Nile,and in South Sudan before South Sudan became independent. Over three million non-Arabs have been displaced.

In 2003-2005, government-backed Janjaweed militias carried out systematic killings of non-Arabs and a scorched earth policy in Darfur. They were supported by bombing by the Sudanese Air Force. They forcibly displaced Fur, Massalit, and Zaghawa communities and murdered, looted, and mass raped non-Arab populations in Darfur. Janjaweed militias killed at least 300,000 non-Arab people and forcibly displaced 2.5 million.

A joint UN-AU peacekeeping force, UNAMID, was established in 2007 with a mandate to protect civilians. However, UNAMID became an observer mission, rather than a peacekeeping force. It failed to protect the hundreds of thousands of people in Sudanese IDP camps from rapes and murders. The Janjaweed militias became an official government force, renamed the "Rapid Support Forces" (RSF) led by General Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo (Hemeti).

Granted jurisdiction by the UN Security Council, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued arrest warrants for Omar al-Bashir and other leaders of the Darfur genocide for crimes against humanity and war crimes in 2009, and in 2010 for charges of genocide. Bashir appointed these same accused criminals as governors over areas where they committed their crimes.

Anti-government protests began in late 2018 and a military coup ousted Omar al-Bashir in 2019.UNAMID withdrew in December 2020. Although a civilian-led democracy was promised following the military coup, another military coup followed in 2021 which removed civilians from government. Generals Burhan and Hemeti shared power over Khartoum. The RSF took control over western Sudan, including Darfur.

In December 2022, the civilian opposition, General Burhan, and Hemeti signed a "new framework" which on paper would transition the government to civilian leadership and integrate the RSF into the Sudanese Armed Forces. But Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo (Hemeti) rejected proposals to integrate his Rapid Support Forces into Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan’s Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF). Failure to incorporate the RSF into the military and lack of cooperation between the SAF and the RSF resulted in civil war.

Fighting broke out between Hemeti’s RSF and Gen. Burhan’s Sudanese Armed Forces on April 15, 2023. Since then, over 1000 civilians have been killed and more than 4,000 have been wounded in Khartoum and Omdurman, tens of thousands have fled, with over 75,000 internally displaced. Over 100,000 people have fled from Sudan. The RSF now controls most of Khartoum.

The massive influx of new refugeesfrom Sudan threatens to overwhelm neighboring countries . Countries including the US, Canada, and France have evacuated their diplomats. Uncertainty exists regarding the location of Bashir. Hospitalsare running out of supplies, and havebeen directly hit by shells and gunfire. They lack electricity and medicines. The director of the UN's World Food Program (WFP) fears the conflict could result in a humanitarian crisis for all of Eastern Africa.

The RSF recommenced its attacks on the people of Darfur, especially the Massalit. In Darfur, the Rapid Support Forces have murdered over 30,000 Massalit, raped thousands of women, and driven tens of thousands of Massalit into Chad. Massalit towns have been destroyed, their wells poisoned, their streets strewn with corpses. The RSF has now surrounded El Fashir, a city of 2.5 million, capital of Darfur. Conquest of El Fashir by the RSF would create a humanitarian disaster and increased genocide.


Genocide Watch considers Sudan to be at Stage 8: Persecution and Stage 9: Extermination.

Genocide Watch recommends:

• The UN Security Council should declare the war in Sudan is a threat to international peace and security.

• The UNSC should authorize a UN Peacekeeping Force (PKO) under Chapter7 of the UN Charter.

• The UNSC should call on African Union and other countries to provide thousands of troops for the PKO.

• The UNSC should make the PKO an ordinary expense of the UN, obligating all UN members to pay for it.

• The UNSC resolution should refer the situation in all of Sudan to the International Criminal Court.

• The PKO mandate should be to end the civil war by diplomacy or force and to protect civilians.

• The mandate should include the arrest of both Gen. Burhan and Hemeti if they are charged by the ICC.




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