Sudanese refugees gather with their belongings in preparation for being transported to Gaga camp, 130 kilometres from the Sudanese-Chadian border. (Insa Wawa Diatta / UNHCR)
On July 28, 2023 the Rapid Support Forces violently seized the town of Sirba in West Darfur. Sirba is located 23 miles north of El Geneina, the capital of West Darfur, which has endured constant attacks throughout the past two months by the RSF. The attacks began on Monday and waged for the whole week until the town was seized. Civilians on the ground confirmed that the entirety of the town, including homes and markets, were plundered and then burned by the RSF and their Allied Militias. The dead bodies from the attacks are scattered on the streets and have yet to be counted.
The government army chose not to protect civilians or stand in the way of RSF to stop the slaughter. The Janjaweed, who were accused of carrying out the ethnic killings against the Black African Minority in Darfur during the genocide, the RSF, and other Arab Militias have been accused of specifically targeting ethnic African communities during the recent conflict leading to the deadly attacks in El Geneina and now the ones in Sirba. Sriba is home to the Eringa Tribe, one of the many indigenous African tribes in the Darfur region. The seizing of Sirba is evidence of the ongoing genocide being carried out against the indigenous tribes.
The attacks in Sirba are similar to previous attacks in El Geneina and most recently Mornay. These are isolated incidents but are part of a systematic genocidal attack that has been ongoing for 20 years. The recent war has given the RSF and Janjaweed militias the opportunity to finally complete their extermination project in Darfur. DWAG is extremely outraged by the ongoing slaughter in Darfur and the lack of immediate response from the international community, including the U.S. West Darfur has been the most targeted region during the recent conflicts due to its strategic borders used to facilitate the smuggling of weapons and the flow of militias from other countries into Sudan to aid the RSF in their genocidal attacks against the indigenous African populations.
Accordi to Eringa tribal leaders, “they [RSF] arrived in 127 vehicles mounted with heavy weapons. Others came on motorcycles and on horses and camels.” The RSF attacked the town from the South, East, and North and prevented civilians from fleeing. Those who managed to escape the violence have been caught in heavy rainfall without shelter. We at DWAG are dismayed to see the escalation of violence and genocidal attacks in Darfur without outrage from the regional or international actors. We urge our supporters to speak up for the people of Darfur and add your voices to ours to call on the Biden administration telling them that in the face of genocide they must not look the other way.
We continue to urge the Biden Administration to take immediate steps to lead the international community to adopt the following recommendations and save lives in Darfur and end the war in Sudan.
● Placing Darfur under international trusteeship to end the genocide attack and uprooting to the indigenous Africans population in Darfur and prevent the disintegration of Sudan.
● Enable unhindered humanitarian access to all in need in Darfur and Sudan at large.
● Impose accountability for perpetrators of serious international crimes.
● Impose targeted sanctions on the two warring generals and their allies to cut the war financing, flow of weapons and destruction in Sudan through verified assets freezing and travel ban.
Without urgent intervention to save lives or provide humanitarian aid, millions will die in silence in Darfur. If we can speak in one voice and make our voices louder we can compel our leaders to act and end this. Please speak. Silence only aids the perpetrators.
Thank you for standing with the people of Sudan and for speaking up for Darfur.
Niemat Ahmadi, Founder and President, and Darfur Women Action Group Team