from RAJI BASHIR in Khartoum, Sudan
KHARTOUM, (CAJ News) – THE latest conflict in South Sudan is denounced as exacerbating the two decades of suffering for civilians in the restive Darfur region.
The Darfur conflict erupted on April 25, 2003 when the Sudan Liberation Movement attacked military forces at the al-Fashir airport in North Darfur.
In the years that followed, Amnesty International reported that hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and millions more displaced as the war raged between rebel forces and the military.
Now, the country is in the throes of a new conflict between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
Amnesty lamented that longstanding impunity had allowed those suspected of war crimes in Darfur to remain in leadership positions today, contributing to the current violence in Sudan.
“The Darfur conflict caused human suffering on a horrendous scale, and the ongoing lack of justice and accountability only ensures that suffering continues,” said Tigere Chagutah, Amnesty’s Director for East and Southern Africa.
The activist expressed shock that 20 years after the Darfur conflict began, the Sudanese authorities were still failing to protect civilians or to investigate and prosecute those allegedly responsible for crimes committed during the conflict.
“Civilians in Sudan are caught in unending cycles of indiscriminate armed attacks, as well as other serious crimes and abuses,” Chagutah said.
He said the government of Sudan must fully cooperate with the International Criminal Court’s (ICC’S) ongoing investigations into Darfur, including by transferring former president, Omar al-Bashir, and others suspected of war crimes and crimes against humanity to The Hague.
Al-Bashir was forced out of power in 2019.
He is the alleged mastermind of the atrocities in Darfur.
“Today, Darfur’s civilians remain at the mercy of the same security forces who committed crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur and other parts of Sudan,” Chagutah said.
Around 400 people have been killed in the latest conflict.
– CAJ News