Home » West Darfur: International Revulsion at ‘Sickening’ RSF Atrocities
Africa Conflict Military North Africa Sudan

West Darfur: International Revulsion at ‘Sickening’ RSF Atrocities

The international community has reacted with revulsion at reports of mass atrocities including murders, detentions, and looting of civilian homes and property, allegedly committed by Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitaries, in the wake of the militia’s capture of the base of the 15th Division of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) in the West Darfur capital of El Geneina on Saturday.

As previously reported by Radio Dabanga, following the news of the conquest of El Geneina, RSF Deputy Commander Abdelrahim Dagalo, brother of RSF Commander ‘Hemedti’, called on the police and justice institutions to carry out their duties and called on his forces to refrain from any “unruly” behaviour towards civilians. He called on merchants to reopen their shops and appealed to humanitarian organisations to provide aid to the public.

However, witnesses who have sought refuge in eastern Chad, tell Radio Dabanga that El Geneina, and in particular Ardamata, that used to be a camp for the displaced but over the years has become a suburb of the West Darfur capital, is “extremely dangerous”. According to a callers, RSF troops “raided and plundered all the houses in Ardamata. They separated the women from the men, and killed most of the men, especially the youth”.

Reports include allegations of ‘purges’ of supposed SAF supporters, some with an apparently ethnic component.

Commenting on X (formally Twitter) on Radio Dabanga’s coverage of the El Geneina takeover this week, respected Sudan and Darfur commentator, researcher, and analyst Eric Reeves, dismisses Dagalo’s assertion of “readiness to advance on El Fasher” and calls on his RSF forces “to refrain from any unruly behaviour towards civilians” as “utter absurdity”, pointing out that “civilians will be the primary victims of an RSF assault on El Fasher…”


In a statement today, the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) reacted to “disturbing reports from a variety of reliable sources on the ground that from November 4-6 2023, following the takeover of the base of the 15th infantry division of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), Arab militias allied with (RSF), committed serious human rights violations, particularly in the Ardamata neighbourhood of El Geneina, West Darfur.”

The UNITAMS statement says that reports received by the mission “indicate that the Arab militias killed a number of civilians and injured many others. Reports received also indicate that these killings were targeted at the Massalit community. In addition, militias conducted a campaign of arrest and detention of people suspected to have collaborated with SAF prior to the takeover of their base by RSF.”

UNITAMS says that human rights officers are currently verifying these reports, and following up to obtain additional information and corroborate the details received, including on the number of the victims and those responsible.

The mission “deplores that civilians continue to be severely impacted since the beginning of the war, with thousands of people displaced, many killed or wounded, and civilian property looted or destroyed. The Mission reiterates its call on all parties to the Sudanese conflict to uphold their obligations under International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law to protect civilians in the course of hostilities”.


The US Embassy in Khartoum released two versions of a statement on its social media platforms, saying the USA is “deeply disturbed as eyewitness reports emerge of RSF going door-to-door in Ardamata, massacring members of the Masalit community and arbitrarily detaining civilians”.

In its initial statement, the US embassy calls out the RSF for killing 85-year-old Native Admiration leader Farsha Mohamed Arbab, his son, and eight grandchildren“, describing the action as “sickening” and “once again highlight RSF’s history of brutality in areas under their control”. However, the initial post was removed without explanation. An adjusted subsequent statement refers to “the arbitrary detention of civilians, including human rights defenders and activists,” but does not refer to the murder of Arbab and his family.

Both statements condemn the RSF decision to appoint Maj Gen Abdelrahman Juma, who is targeted by US sanctions, as commander of the 15th Division, referring to Juma as “someone known for his involvement in gross violations of human rights…” In the initial statement, the USA asserts that “this proves they [the RSF] are not serious about protecting civilians”. The subsequent toned-down statement calls the appointment of Juma “a concerning development”.

In both statements, the USA “reminds both warring parties of their commitments under the May 11 Jeddah Declaration of Principles to Protect the Civilians of Sudan, including by allowing unhindered humanitarian access, protecting civilians and their human rights, and upholding international humanitarian law and international human rights law”.

The statements conclude: “The USA continues to support accountability for perpetrators of atrocities in Sudan. The warring parties must end this brutal conflict. The Sudanese people deserve freedom, peace, and justice”.

MSF: ‘Immediate and major increase in refugees’

In its own statement, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) says that “teams working across the border in eastern Chad have seen an immediate and major increase in the number of people arriving in the region”. The humanitarian NGO says refugees coming from Sudan are mainly women and children, and recount stories of large-scale violence against civilians.

Source: Radio Dabanga