ICC urged to investigate Darfur killings


Human Rights Watch Senior Crisis and Conflict Researcher, Jean-Baptiste Gallopin

from RAJI BASHIR in Khartoum, Sudan
Sudan Bureau
KHARTOUM, (CAJ News) -THE Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and allied Arab militias are accused of summarily executing at least 28 ethnic Massalit as well as killing and injuring dozens of civilians in Sudan’s West Darfur state late May.

Human Rights Watch (HRW), which made the findings, said many of these abuses committed in the context of the armed conflict in Sudan amount to war crimes.

Several thousand fighters of the RSF, the independent military force that has been in armed conflict with the military since April 15, and Arab militias attacked the town of Misterei, home to tens of thousands of mainly ethnic Massalit residents.

The assailants killed men in their homes, on the streets, or in hiding, and fired on fleeing residents, killing, and injuring women and injuring children.

These forces then pillaged and burned most of the town, forcing thousands of residents to flee across the border to Chad.

“Since the conflict in Sudan broke out in April, some of the worst atrocities have been in West Darfur,” said Jean-Baptiste Gallopin, senior crisis and conflict researcher at HRW.

“The mass killings of civilians and total destruction of the town of Misterei demonstrates the need for a stronger international response to the widening conflict,” Gallopin said.

HRW urged Sudan’s warring parties to stop attacking civilians and allow safe aid access.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is urged to probe these attacks as part of its Darfur investigation.

West Darfur has been the epicentre of cycles of violence and displacement against non-Arab communities since 2019.

In mid-April, as fighting raged elsewhere in Sudan, the Sudan Armed Forces and the local police force stationed in Misterei left the town.

Mid-May, the RSF and Arab militias clashed with the town’s Massalit self-defense group.

– CAJ News

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