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Sudan Genocide Emergency

Fighters in Sudan May 2023 Credit BBC

Sudan Genocide Emergency

May 2023

Long-standing ethnic conflicts between the Arab dominated Sudanese government and non-Arab 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, the Sudanese army and Arab militias have massacred hundreds of thousands of non-Arab people in the Nuba Mountains, Darfur, the Blue Nile, and South Sudan before it became independent. Over three million non-Arabs have been displaced. 

From 2003-2005, government-backed Janjaweed militias carried out systematic killings of non-Arabs and a scorched earth policy in Darfur. They forcibly displaced Fur, Massalit, and Zaghawa communities and attacked, looted, and mass raped non-Arab populations in Darfur. The Janjaweed militias killed at least 300,000 and forcibly displaced 2.5 million. A joint UN-AU peacekeeping force UNAMID was established in 2007 with the primary goal of protecting civilians. However, UNAMID became an observer mission, rather than a peacekeeping force. It failed to protect many people in IDP camps from rapes and murders by the Janjaweed.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Omar al-Bashir for crimes against humanity and war crimes in 2009, and in 2010 for charges of genocide. The Janjaweed militias became an official government force, renamed the "Rapid Support Forces" (RSF) led by General Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo (Hemeti).

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 effectively removed civilians from government.

Continuing attacks against non-Arab people in Darfur led to 420,000 people leaving their homes in 2021. In 2022, over 350,000 people were displaced in Sudan and millions of people lacked access to food and water.

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, upwards of 400 civilians have been killed and more than 2,000 have been wounded. The violence has taken place predominantly in Khartoum and has displaced tens of thousands, with at least 75,000 people being internally displaced and over 100,000 fleeing to surrounding countries.

The massive influx of new refugees from Sudan threatens to overwhelm neighboring countries . Countries including the US, Canada, and France have evacuated their diplomats. Uncertainty exists regarding the location of Bashir and other officials that had been imprisoned in Sudan prior to the start of the fighting. Hospitals are running out of supplies, have been directly hit by shells and gunfire, and lack electricity and medicines to continue running. The director of the UN's World Food Program (WFP) fears the conflict could result in a humanitarian crisis for all of Eastern Africa.

Due to continuing massacres against non-Arab civilians, 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 Chapter 7 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 Sudan to the International Criminal Court.

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

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

Sudan Genocide Emergency May 2023
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