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Sudan genocide feared after massacre at refugee camp

​Women from the city of Al-Junina (West Darfur) cry after receiving the news about the death of their relatives as they waited for them in Chad, Nov. 7, 2023.

Women from the city of Al-Junina (West Darfur) cry after receiving the news about the death of their relatives as they waited for them in Chad, Nov. 7, 2023.

REUTERS/El Tayeb Siddig

Sudan’s ongoing civil war may once again be spiraling into genocide. Late last week, the UN Refugee Agency condemned the mass killing of at least 800 people within 72 hours by the Arab paramilitary Rapid Support Forces and its allies in the Ardamata refugee camp in West Darfur. This weekend, the EU's chief diplomat Josep Borrell cited witness reports that over 1,000 members of the Black African Masalit population had been killed, noting that the international community “cannot turn a blind eye on what is happening in Darfur and allow another genocide to happen in this region."


Borrell was referencing the mass killing in Darfur that saw 300,000 Masalit murdered between 2003 and 2005 by an Arab militia known as the Janjaweed. Former President Omar al-Bashir used the militia to crush Darfuri rebel groups who were revolting against the neglect of the region's Black African population. Today’s RSF, including its leader, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, aka Hemedti, are reportedly drawn from this group of Janjaweed fighters.

The UN Refugee Agency also reported “shocking accounts of widespread rape and sexual violence” committed by the RSF, following a report in August 2023 by the UN Human Rights Commission that the RSF was deploying rape and sexual violence “as tools to punish and terrorize communities.”

So far, however, no major world leaders have condemned the violence, called for a ceasefire, or demanded meetings to end the conflict.

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