Heavy smoke bellows above buildings in the vicinity of the Khartoum’s airport on April 15, 2023, amid clashes in the Sudanese capital. Explosions rocked the Sudanese capital on April 15 as paramilitaries and the regular army traded attacks on each other’s bases, days after the army warned the country was at a “dangerous” turning point.
- Both Sudan’s army and the RSF have been responsible for atrocities, the USA’s official position now holds.
- And RSF forces are guilty of ethnic cleansing, the US says.
- They have been fighting across the country since April.
The United States said Wednesday that Sudan’s rival forces have both committed war crimes in their brutal conflict, accusing the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces of ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced the US State Department findings on the violence, which has included renewed attacks in Darfur two decades after a campaign there that was at the time branded by the United States as genocide.
Both the Sudanese army and the RSF “have unleashed horrific violence, death and destruction across Sudan,” Blinken said in a statement.
“Civilians have borne the brunt of this needless conflict,” he said.
The two sides “must stop this conflict now, comply with their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law, and hold accountable those responsible for atrocities,” Blinken said.
Brutal warfare including in the capital Khartoum erupted in April between the army, led by Sudan’s de-facto leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and the paramilitary RSF, commanded by Burhan’s former deputy Mohamed Hamdan Daglo.
The violence came after the failure to integrate the RSF into the army, in line with a roadmap to civilian rule in a country that had been seeking to turn the page on decades of autocratic rule.
More than 10 000 people have been killed, according to a conservative estimate from the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, a monitor, with the United Nations saying 6.3 million more have been forced to flee their homes.
The vast region of Darfur — roughly the size of France and home to around a quarter of Sudan’s 48 million people — is deeply scarred by a scorched-earth campaign launched two decades ago by the RSF’s predecessor, the Janjaweed militia.
Then-president Omar al-Bashir used the Janjaweed to suppress non-Arab minorities, a bloody campaign that eventually saw him charged with genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court.
Blinken said the RSF and allied militias “have terrorised women and girls through sexual violence, attacking them in their homes, kidnapping them from the streets, or targeting those trying to flee to safety across the border.”
“In haunting echoes of the genocide that began almost 20 years ago in Darfur, we have seen an explosion of targeted violence against some of the same survivors’ communities,” Blinken said.
The United States and Saudi Arabia have led negotiations aimed at ending the fighting, with the State Department initially hesitant to take actions that could alienate one side and break down communication.
But the two sides made no tangible progress when they met again a little over a month ago in the Saudi port city of Jeddah.
Source link : https://www.news24.com/news24/africa/news/us-charges-both-sides-in-sudan-with-war-crimes-and-one-with-ethnic-cleansing-20231206
Publish date : 2023-12-06 21:23:44