Keep the Spotlight on Sudan: Death Toll Rises in Port Sudan as Fighting Continues

The Darfur Women Action Group (DWAG) is gravely concerned about the ongoing and escalation of violence and the utter failure of the Sudanese government to protect the civilians of Port Sudan. On August 10th, as reported by Radio Dabanga, clashes between eastern Sudanese Beni Amer and the Nuba tribes resulted in four deaths and about 35 injuries. The violence continued for four consecutive days in Port Sudan despite government curfews and the arrival of military reinforcements. By August 14th, the death toll rose to a total of 34 deaths with 123 others injured. 

This attack is only one of the many violent attacks that have broken out in the past year, but the government has yet to establish peace in the area and end the violence. On the following day, 13 more people were killed and many more sustained injuries. The Doctors Central Committee holds the state government and security committee “fully responsible for the protection of citizens” and that they are “watching what is happening in the state without moving.” 

The Minister of Interior Affairs stated that these attacks were related to previous clashes between the Nuba and Beni Amer tribesmen, which had been resolved in a reconciliation agreement. On August 14th, more than 100 Rapid Support Force (RSF) vehicles arrived in Port Sudan, arresting 85 people involved in violent incidents. 

Since the beginning of August, members of the Port Sudan Resistance Committee have held protests in front of the Council of Ministers in Khartoum, denouncing the state’s negligence of the continued violence in Port Sudan. Recent incidents have left about 150 people killed or injured. DWAG strongly urges the Sudanese government to work towards safety and security for civilians in Port Sudan and to put an end to the violence and racism. Investigations into the tribal fighting must be put on public review to hold accountability for those responsible. Temporary solutions can not stop the endless violence.

The interim government must take effective measures to ensure accountability and a permanent end to these clashes among its citizens. In the event that the interim is unable to resolve, they must resort to the International community to have a neutral investigation and deploy a UN peacekeeping force on the grounds to protect civilian lives. An independent peacekeeping force must be established to ensure the safety of civilians and protect when the local militia can not. The people in Port Sudan have dealt with violence and unrest for too long, and effective action is needed to bring the suffering of the innocent men, women, and children to an end.

Devastating Floods in Darfur: A Call for International Assistance

Darfur Women Action Group (DWAG) is saddened to announce that earlier last week, heavy rain and flash floods have severely damaged homes and displaced people in areas including Khartoum, Blue Nile, and Darfur. Floods have killed at least 6 people, destroyed over 3,000 houses, and damaged property on an unimaginable level. News sources and local sources have furthermore confirmed today that Kabkabiya, North Darfur, the hometown of DWAG’s president, is one of the areas most affected by the crisis.

In Kabkabiya, over 500 homes have been destroyed by the rain with almost another 5,000 severely damaged. Those who have escaped the flooding are now taking shelter in schools and other people’s intact homes. Many more people are still missing, and their relatives are still searching for them. The five camps for internally displaced people (IDP’s) have been especially hard-hit by the disaster, with another 2,600 IDP shelters destroyed and over 13,000 damaged across all camps. All are in urgent need of assistance.

The UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) released an update last Tuesday highlighting the severity of the damage caused by the flash floods. According to the update, government and aid organizations have been actively responding and supporting families affected while the Flood Task Force, led by the Humanitarian Aid Commission, coordinated relief responses for emergency supplies. However, in Darfur, only the citizens are leading the initiative, as of now. Local authorities and partners are also mobilizing food assistance, but ultimately the current relief efforts are still insufficient — Darfur needs more resources and aid now. In the coming days, the flood will only add to the growing list of emergencies, including the health crisis and the need for immediate and proactive health assistance.

DWAG, therefore, calls on the Interim Government of Sudan to take immediate action in the resolution of the crisis. This includes making a public statement announcing their plans for relief in Darfur and the remainder of the country, and follow-up efforts in meeting the needs of people displaced by the floods while also searching for those still missing. DWAG furthermore calls on international humanitarian organizations, including the UN agencies operating in Sudan, to work toward providing food, clean water, and safe shelter and adequate health assistance

Only a joint effort by the Sudanese Government and international agencies can resolve this natural catastrophe. DWAG hopes to see decisive action for the sake of all victims affected.

The people of Darfur are already vulnerable due to longstanding crises, and now the flood has exacerbated their suffering. Please join us to urge the Interim government of Sudan and humanitarian agencies to stand up for the flood victims in Darfur.

In Response to: The Women’s Peace and Security Agenda & The Impact of COVID-19 on Women Panel

Debunking Sudanese social norms & how it harms and restricts women 

Last Friday, DWAG invited special guests—Ambassador Kelley Currie, Ms. Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini (on behalf of Senator Mobina Jaffer), and Ms. Niemat Ahmadi—to tackle the issues of women’s peace and security in places of conflict, specifically in Sudan, and in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the virtual panel discussion, the three women, with the help of moderator Ms. Azaz Shami, presented insightful arguments about the role of women in their communities and the need for leadership and empowerment. Sharing experiences on both the ground in Sudan and in government administrations, the speakers stressed the importance of structural reforms to allow for a significant presence of Sudanese women in positions of power to achieve transitional justice and participate in the process of peacebuilding.


But not only is it vital to recognize the women’s exceptional qualities and experiences that merit leadership roles, an important part of achieving equal participation includes an acknowledgement of the harrowing challenges Sudanese women face that prevent them from participating in government affairs. Each speaker discussed a crucial part of the violence against women and the cultural barriers that restrain them and furthermore touched on the core issue that is the corrupt system of societal norms that empowers male supremacy and enforces strict control over women.


Last year in Sudan, Omar al-Bashir—the Sudanese president of 30 years known for his regime of terror, genocide, and war—was overthrown in military coup by the people of Sudan after months of endless protest. The revolution led to a new transitional government, meant to establish lasting peace and an end to violent conflicts. However, military officials from Bashir’s regime remained in power, allowing unrest and violence to ensue. Since the takeover of the interim government, repeated instances of fatal attacks at peaceful protests have happened. The people are demanding an end to the brutality of militia soldiers and calls for accountability, which have not been met. Families flee from their homes in fear, leaving hundreds of thousands displaced in camps. Hundreds have died since, and thousands have been wounded while the interim government turns a blind eye towards the militia that continues to instigate violence.


Sudan is burning, and the leadership of Sudanese women may be the solution. 


Since the beginning of the revolution, Sudanese women have been at the forefront, demanding justice and peace. Known to be leaders in all aspects of society, these women have taken the part as caretakers, heads of households, and now, the face of the Sudanese revolution. Ambassador Kelley remarks in the panel that “it was women’s collective leadership, initiative, and courage that helped to bring forth this revolution and created this opportunity for all the people of Sudan to lead a more prosperous, secure, and better life.” The role of women in the Darfur uprising has been recognized around the world, and many agree that without the courage of these women to step up and demand change, the protests may not have had the effect they had. “The fact that Sudanese women were at the forefront of the revolution…is extraordinary,” Ms. Naraghi-Anderlini added. “To be able to see that force and that power and that symbolism of peace and the fundamental issue of saying, ‘We need to change, but we’re not going to do it by behaving as you behave towards us’ and ‘the oppressed is not going to become the oppressor.’ This is a really powerful message, and it comes from women.” Stepping up as leaders of the protests, mothers and sisters of Sudan have proved themselves more than capable of leadership, acting as catalysts for positive change. As such strong and inspiring figures, Sudanese women—if given the power and authority to provide real change—could truly make huge strides for peace and security in Sudan for their people.


“There is a juxtaposition of power.”


Their roles in activism and politics, as well as in their own communities, should merit a seat at the table that determines their future, yet they remain on the sidelines. Why is that? As Ms. Naraghi-Anderlini said, the government is “still refusing to have [women] recognized as independent delegates.” Those in power, who have the resources and the responsibility to help, are present but absent when needed most. It is the least powerful—the women without resources, power, or money—who take the burden of responsibility. And yet, as Ms. Ahmadi mentioned afterward, only 12% of the peace table included women, a subtle message from the interim government that Sudanese women are not capable, despite their active part in peacebuilding.


The reason behind the disregard stems beyond the misogyny typically seen in other Western countries. Social norms, particularly formed from Bashir’s grasp on Sudanese culture, prohibit and target women to such an abusive extent that the path to equal participation may easily seem impossible. 


The most degrading social norm persists in the sustenance of gender-based violence or GBV. GBV refers to violence against women, including rape, domestic abuse, sexual harassment, and sex trafficking. GBV is typically deeply rooted in gender inequality. One of the most notable human rights violations, gender-based violence continues to exist in places like Sudan. Moreover, there happens to simultaneously be an acceptance of GBV within communities. Women are encouraged to tolerate violence and wife beatings are deemed acceptable. Those in intimate relationships are told to withstand physical violence and forced intercourse.

Ms. Niemat Ahmadi mentions that “for the last 18 years, women have been subject to the most brutal [form] of attack. The former regime of al-Bashir has used rape systematically and as a deliberate policy of state against its own people, knowing that women in Darfur represent the center of society and the center of the family.”

Darfur women are victims of a cycle of violence that targets them for their gender. Knowing this, former president al-Bashir has repeatedly manipulated state laws to allow the conformity of GBV to demoralize and attack women. It is “the culture of the promotion of violence against women and the immunity that is associated with it because it had become a state policy,” says Ms. Ahmadi. “Women have been subjected to not only the direct harm, as a result of targeting them and attacking them, but also the psychological and social stigma that is associated with rape [and] the harm they have experienced from the attack on their communities.” For 18 long years, the consequences of constant attacks are bound to be seen for generations to come. Moreover, the lawlessness affects not only women but also encourages a sense of invincibility and superiority among men. Bending the law to their will, male supremacy takes hold into society as women are further seen as incapable and powerless. The generational trauma and stigma as well as the psychological damage done to victims create an endless cycle of violence that brutally tears Sudanese women apart. 


The roles they are expected to take are also meant to degrade their status in society. With the expectation that they must be unhindered by the violence that plagues their peers and themselves, the women must conform to conventional roles as mothers, sisters, nurses, caretakers, teachers, housekeepers, and cooks rather than envision themselves as leaders or politicians. Those who do lead are restricted and abused by legal and moral prohibitions that control what they wear, say, see, or do, consequential to flogging or, in rare cases, stoning. While the end of al-Bashir’s rule led to a repeal of the laws, the discriminatory legal framework that continues and the societal implications they bore demand more work to be done. 


The women in Darfur face immense challenges in the fight against inequality, yet they possess a distinctive strength despite the obstacles.

The roles that are imposed to instill inferiority and submission instead created strength, bravery, and protectiveness. In the panel, Ms. Naraghi-Anderlini spoke of a peculiar discussion she had with a UN colleague, who asked Darfur women why they went out to collect firewood and risk being raped. “Well,” she recounted, “If we go, we risk being raped. If the men go, they risk being killed. So we will do this.”

Their admirable resilience could be the solution to finding lasting prosperity in Darfur, but they should not fight on their own. The international community must step in to allow the equal participation of women in the peacebuilding and decision-making processes.


They fought for it. They have earned it. They deserve it.


The need for structural reforms is long overdue and the international community has turned a blind eye towards the injustice for far too long. Without the active and equal participation of women in politics, Sudan may never get to grow and change for the better. 

By: Janus Kwong


Escalated Violence Leads to More Protests and Attacks

Following the violent attacks in Misterei and Fata Bono, Darfur Women Action Group (DWAG) would like to speak out against the continuation of brutality in Darfur. Many civilians in the region have gathered to protest against the injustice and irresponsibility of the Sudanese interim government in response to the atrocities, but no substantial action has been made for the active protection of the civilian and displaced population.

On August 2nd, shots were fired in the Kass locality in South Darfur when a large group of gunmen and two battalions of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) met, leaving 11 civilian villagers and four RSF soldiers suffering bullet wounds. More than 10 villages near Kass, South Darfur have reported attacks by Arab militia groups between July 31st to August 1st. The attack happened just after the release of two militia leaders and RSF members in the Kass locality, who were arrested on charges of targeting and killing civilians as well as looting property. Protesters had organized peaceful demonstrations in response to their release, urging for justice and accountability, but they were met with tear gas and live ammunition at the front of police headquarters.

Days before, on July 26th, protesters led a three-day blockade of the Khartoum-Port Sudan highway. After handing a memorandum to the Red Sea governor, Abdallah Ohaj, and witnessing the lack of official response, protesters closed the highway off for three consecutive days, demanding to include civilian governors in Kassala and El Gedaref. One of two bridges over the El Gash river were also closed to vehicles and other transports.

Despite the attack and the relentless protests for change and stability, the violence does not cease as perpetrators remain unaccounted for for their crimes. In fact, the incidents in Darfur exemplify unrest all across Sudan.

In Kadugli, fear of the Rapid Support Force (or RSF) has already sent another wave of displacement within the capital of South Kordofan. On July 28th, a protest took place in front of the state government secretariat, demanding stability amidst the repeated violence in the Kadugli region. Demonstrators presented a memorandum for secure roads, stability for the upcoming agricultural season, and justice upheld against the perpetrators in recent events. Calling upon the Secretary General of South Kordofan, Mousa Jabir, the demonstration in Kadugli is one of many that are present in Darfur, demanding accountability, peace, and security. At least 2,000 people have fled their homes after the violence that ensued the previous week. 

DWAG calls upon the Sudanese interim government to take proper measures to strictly ensure and enforce the protection of the civilian and displaced population in all areas of Sudan. Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok has announced the deployment of additional troops to regions of conflict, which the UN-AU Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) has embraced. However, his joint force of army soldiers, security officers, and RSF militia should not be tasked for the security of the Sudanese people, given their history of violence and brutality. With traces linking the RSF directly to the former al-Bashir regime, the people of Darfur do not trust them with their safety. Local militia, especially the RSF, have done little to protect civilians and, in fact, are responsible for the majority of the violence in the area. Adding to their forces would likely do more harm than good, and the international community needs to be aware of the RSF’s motives and the people’s lack of trust for them, ensuring that any military force placed into civilian protection is held accountable to their mandate. DWAG urges the international community, and especially UN peacekeeping forces, to intervene and put an end to the casualties and work towards lasting peace and security in Darfur. The violence must end, and those in power must take action to save Sudanese lives and hold perpetrators accountable for their crimes.

Another Fatal Attack in West Darfur – A Call for Civilian Protection

Darfur Women Action Group (DWAG) is gravely concerned about the deadly attack that took place in West Darfur on Saturday, July 25th. At least 68 people were killed and 84 others were severely wounded in the Misterei massacre that took place over the weekend. Witnesses told Radio Dabanga that the attack began at 4:30 AM Saturday morning from two directions, and continued for more than eight hours. Armed men—including members of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF)—arrived on horseback, in vehicles, and on motorcycles. This is the second major attack in Misterei in a week, following the attack on peaceful protesters on July 17th that injured seventeen people. This chilling development is just another demonstration of the transitional government’s failure to protect the citizens of West Darfur, who have been plagued by violence for more than twenty years. 

DWAG would like to echo the calls of the West Darfur Doctors’ Committee, condemning the violence and acknowledging that the state’s Security Committee is to blame for allowing this violence to continue. West Darfur authorities have been slow in response to the recent attacks, which has cost countless lives. This attack is no short of continued attempts at genocide. The armed men have direct ties to the former regime, and this attack represents a failure on behalf of the West Darfur government, the Sovereign Council, and the Cabinet for their lack of urgency. Active members of the Resistance Committees in West Darfur, who have been impacted by the violence, have been warning of escalation for weeks. Armed groups have attacked peaceful sit-ins repeatedly with no response or intervention from authorities. 

Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, in response to the recent attacks, announced on Sunday that he would be sending a joint force of army soldiers, paramilitaries of the RSF, and security officers to the region to combat the violence. However, given the fact that the RSF was involved in this attack on civilians, DWAG questions this decision. The same entities responsible for the violence that killed sixty people over the weekend cannot protect the citizens of West Darfur. The RSF militia is directly connected to the Al Bashir regime, officially integrating into the Sudan Armed Forces last August. The RSF is still directly connected to Mohamed Hamdan ‘Hemeti’, and it is concerning that despite some of their members being directly responsible for this attack on innocent civilians in Misterei, even more of their forces will be deployed to “protect” civilians in the Darfur region. Additionally, it is a failure on behalf of multiple government agencies for failing to listen to previous calls for action. Violence has continued to escalate in the region for weeks, and it took the death of nearly seventy people for the central government to respond. The people of West Darfur have very little trust in the RSF given the many times they have participated in violent attacks against the very citizens they are mandated to protect as part of the Sudan Armed Forces. It is imperative that the RSF is not allowed to continue to terrorize the citizens in West Darfur. 

As the country—and the international community—continue to combat the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Hamdok must ensure protection for the civilians of Darfur, so that they are not forced to fight two ‘pandemics’ at once. DWAG stands firm in this call to action for Prime Minister Hamdok. The people of Darfur are fighting two crises at once: the coronavirus and the continued violence in the region. A ceasefire must be implemented in the region, in combination with disarmament efforts, to ensure that the violence does not continue. The people of Darfur have suffered long enough. It is time that their repeated calls to action finally be answered. 

DWAG calls upon the international community to establish a strong UN peacekeeping force with a Chapter VII mandate in Darfur. The RSF cannot be responsible for protecting the citizens of Darfur, as their members are the ones responsible for committing these atrocities. In order to protect the citizens of Darfur, an independent peacekeeping force must be established in the region. DWAG calls upon Prime Minister Hamdok to urge the UN for support in establishing a peacekeeping force in Darfur. The prime minister has previously denied the need for UN peacekeepers in the region, but the violence and outcries of the Darfuri people reflect otherwise. A peacekeeping force can actually ensure the safety of the civilians there, unlike members of the RSF. A stronger RSF security force has done nothing to help the people, and it is time for the civilian population to get their voices heard. International intervention is imperative to de-escalating violence and saving Sudanese lives. Violence must end and accountability for perpetrators must be prioritized by holding those responsible, liable to their action. 

Accountability for Sexual Violence Crimes

Friday, June 17th, marked the 22nd anniversary of International Justice Day, a day honoring the creation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). It is imperative that as we reflect on the progress that has been made, we also recognize there is still more work to be done in securing justice for the victims and survivors of the genocide. We cannot forget the women who were victims of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) as a result of this conflict as well. In Sudan, nearly two decades of conflict has allowed for SGBV to be a common occurrence, despite recent ceasefires. There are reports of SGBV reported to RadioDabanga almost every day. The survivors of SGBV, especially when it occurs in conflict zones, are often left without justice due to the stigma attached to these crimes and often for fear of retaliation, women and families remain silent It is essential that as we continue the fight for justice, there is a dedicated effort to support the needs of survivors and hold the perpetrators of the SGBV accountable. There must be improved reporting mechanisms and protections for victims of SGBV and it is imperative that their needs are centered in the search for justice. 

Sexual and Gender-based Violence (SGBV) in Conflict and Why it’s an Issue 

Globally, sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) impacts one in three women in their lifetime. The United Nations recently highlighted how insecurity and displacement often fuels an increase in SGBV. SGBV is widespread and often an integral part of conflict, but it is seldom talked about due to the stigma attached. Victims are often unable to come forward for fear of retaliation, as well as rejection from their community as a result of the crimes committed against them. Sexual violence is frequently used as a tactic of war and is a very effective strategy for smaller militias with less resources for other weapons. It is cheap and effective because the combatants can use their bodies as weapons with devastating impacts. It has lasting repercussions, often with the intent to destroy the fabric of the community in which it is wielded against. It perpetuates cycles of violence and the survivors are often left without access to resources and never see justice for the crimes committed against them. Survivors of SGBV in conflict are often too scared or ashamed to report what happened to them, making it difficult to find out actual numbers of incidents. 

Relevance to Sudan 

Sexual and gender-based violence, particularly systematic rape and sexual slavery, have been wielded against the people of Darfur during the long-standing crises. The Janjaweed are notorious for their brutal attacks against civilians, using kidnapping and rape as weapons of war. However, they are not the only group who have utilized SGBV during the conflict. Torture, rape and sexual harassment are seen as effective weapons against the enemy’s women, as it successfully demoralizes and terrorizes people, forcing them to flee their homes. Despite recent ceasefires, SGBV continues to happen, as new incidents are reported to RadioDabanga almost every day. Women from Fur, Zaghawa, Masalit, Berti, Tunjur, and other non-Arab ethnicities are targeted, although it is not exclusive to these groups. Given that the Sudanese government allowed Jajaweed fighters to infiltrate the security sector in the country, it is necessary for the transitional government to give reparations to the survivors of SGBV at the hands of the government and the government-backed militias. Women and girls are not only fearful of attacks by these groups, but also rebel groups fighting against the central government and their allies as well. Even in times of peace, women still had to be fearful of the threat of SGBV. 

Not only does rape occur during conflict, but women and girls living in internally-displaced persons (IDP) or refugee camps are vulnerable to SGBV there as well. For example, in June 2008, at a refugee camp in Chad, a group of women, aged 13 to 30, were tortured by other Sudanese refugees located inside the camp. Accused of prostitution, dozens of men took turns beating them with whips and sticks, in front of the entire camp, in an attempt to shame the women. As a result, the women of the camp crafted a document, a 14-point manifesto (known as the FARCHANA Manifesto), that calls for the empowerment of women within refugee camps. The women and girls in these camps (quote from woman at the Farchana camp in Chad) have said that, at times, it is safer for them back in Sudan, where they had “some freedoms” unlike in Farchana, where they have none. This is just one of the many examples that even after women make it to IDP or refugee camps, they are not suddenly immune to SGBV. 

There is social stigmatization that takes place, which combined with the lack of accountability for perpetrators of these attacks, make women fearful and distrusting of law enforcement, meaning they are unlikely to come forward. There is a veil of secrecy that surrounds reporting SGBV, which makes it difficult for aid workers to get accurate numbers of those impacted. 

Need for Accountability 

While there has been impunity for all of the perpetrators of the genocide in Darfur, women and girls who were victims of SGBV are even more likely to be denied justice. Similar to the systematic rape in Darfur, the Rapid Support Forces has also used rape against Sudanese women during the June 3rd  2019 , a famous incident to quell protest. During the thirty years of al-Bashir’s ruling Sudanese laws have been used to oppress women and the popular disciplinary act has been actively used to oppressed or commit violence against women in the capital Khartoum. Women were flogged for the simplest things such as wearing pants. Despite all the promises made, the current interim government of Sudan has failed to adequately integrate the voices of women or allow meaningful participation. This will make reforming institutions and laws to be favorable to women difficult when they are not at the table. Therefore, there is a desperate need to bolster the justice system’s ability to handle crimes related to SGBV, as the current system is ill-equipped to handle the needs of victims. There needs to be laws put in place that centers the needs of the victims and a firm commitment to increase the number of female police officers in the country who would be more equipped to respond to these crimes. 

In this regard, the International Criminal Court represents a unique opportunity that all actors and stakeholders need to leverage to ensure that accountability for crimes against women must not go unpunished. The Rome Statute has specific articles that deal with sexual and gender-based violence and in the case of Darfur, the ICC has confirmed that rape has been used as a tool of genocide. 

While empowering women in conflict to participate in decision making is crucial, without proper accountability for crimes committed against women, conflicts can’t be resolved sustainably. Resolving the problem of Sudan can’t be possible without accountability for crimes committed against women and the effective participation of women at all levels of decision making. 

Another Deadly Attack in West Darfur

Darfur Women Action Group (DWAG) would like to express its grave concern about the deadly violence that took place in the capital of West Darfur over the weekend that left many injured and seventeen dead. Two separate incidents, one on Friday, July 17th and one on Sunday, July 19th, left many injured and three dead. DWAG would like to raise the alarm about this systematic violence and calls on the Transitional Government of Sudan to take effective action to end this cruel act against innocent civilians in Darfur.

On Friday, July 17th, International Justice Day, Militias affiliated with Rapid Support Forces attacked villages in West Darfur Ammar Ibrahim where seventeen people were injured during a sit-in at Misterei in Beida after a group of gunmen opened fire on the peaceful protests. Friday was the 11th day of the sit-in. A spokesperson and member of the Resistance Committees that is active in West Darfur Ammar Ibrahim told RadioDabanga that the attack took place right after a delegation of the Beida Resistance Committees Coordination had met with the governor. 

On Saturday, July 18th, a group of gunmen on motorcycles attacked and destroyed a number of buildings in Beida. They began first by raiding the market, before continuing on to destroy the office of the Beida Resistance Committees, the house of the former commissioner, and the Beida Language and Science Institute, all while threatening bystanders. 

On Sunday, July 19th, the violence culminated when fighting erupted in El Jebel district in El Geneina, when a shooting killed three people and wounded several others. It is unclear what the reason behind the shooting is, however, the situation has been contained after army forces were deployed to the area. 

These attacks on civilians in West Darfur are not new nor a single incident – it’s a part of a well-orchestrated policy of the former regime to exterminate the people of Darfur. Despite al-Bashir’s removal from power, his totalitarian regime is very present in Darfur today and the interim government is failing to stop its forces from attacking its citizens. It is extremely alarming that these people have been under attack over the last 17 years and they are yet to be protected today. 

These attacks are endangering the lives of millions of innocent civilians and threaten the stability of the Darfur region and the country at large. It is imperative that the Transitional Government address the underlying issues that caused these acts of violence to happen. There needs to be a dedicated effort to withdraw these militias out of civilian areas and remove their guns and other weapons and hold those responsible accountable.

Additionally, DWAG calls on the transitional government to echo the calls made by the United Nations to ensure a national cease-fire takes place as the country responds to COVID-19. It is imperative that the government release an action plan that responds to the ongoing violence that is taking place so that no more citizens are dying in the aftermath of the decades-long conflict. 

These attacks further underscore the Interim government’s inability to protect civilians in Darfur and the need for UN civilian protection forces with a Chapter (VII) seven mandate throughout the interim period to ensure that vulnerable populations are protected.