Sunday, June 23, 2024

Sudan: Conflict Enters Third Month Amid Escalation of Violence

Sudan’s devastating war has entered its third month, with the murder of a governor marking a fresh escalation of violence in the western region of Darfur.

Officials in Sudan on Thursday said the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary group had captured and executed the governor of West Darfur, Khamis Abbakar, in the regional capital El Geneina.

Abbakar had accused the RSF and some of their allied militias of committing genocide against people from Darfur’s Masalit ethnic group.

The RSF has not responded to the accusations.

Reports of similar violence in the cities of Nyala and Zalingei have been mounting.

Abbakar had also warned that the attacks had spread across the city and beyond, and called for international intervention.

‘Crimes against humanity’ in Darfur

Earlier this week, the UN chief Antonio Guterres said he deplored the “appalling” escalation in the conflict, while the UN’s Sudan envoy, Volker Perthes, warned of potentiel crimes against humanity western Darfur, the most affected region.

In a statement Guterres said he was “highly worried about the increasing ethnic dimension of the violence, as well as by reports of sexual violence”.

The NGO Doctors without Borders (MSF) described El Geneina “one of the worst places on Earth“.

Khartoum in limbo

Sudan’s conflict started on 15 April in the capital, Khartoum. Since then the country’s army – headed by Abdel Fattah al-Burhan – and the RSF – commanded by his former deputy Mohamed Hamdan Daglo – have been locked in combat.

These destroyed entire neighbourhoods of the capital Khartoum, leaving hundreds under siege.