Camp Attack in Darfur

Bijan Razzaghi

On April 9th of 2017, a camp in El Genneina, West Darfur full of displaced persons or IDPs was attacked by Sudanese government-backed Janjaweed militias. The pretext was that the displaced persons were to be removed from inside the camp and market to a location outside. The market provided the displaced persons with basic living requirement’s such as food, water, and opportunities to make a living, but as well as a safety measure for the displaced, as they need a market inside the camp, instead of traveling miles away another market and subjecting themselves to an attack on the way. The government forces refused to listen to the displaced persons and moved in with support of the Sudanese military, which led to the deaths of three innocent people, including a seven-year-old boy who was shot, and left as many as a dozen wounded. The militia then burned the market and was transferred to Geneina hospital, which is known for its poor treatment of patients.


The tactic being used by the Janjaweed and Rapid Support Forces is one of systematic genocide. The pattern being observed is the continued displacement of individual’s already previously displaced. The aim of this being to demoralize the people of Darfur and to break their will to fight back or to stay in Darfur. The land of the displaced people is being used by the government for agriculture. As people are forced out of Darfur, they are pushed towards the border with Chad, or towards South Sudan.  The acts that are taking place violate the Geneva Convention, specifically Rule 89, Violence to Life, which prohibits the killing of innocent noncombatants. The violence against children, in particular, is being used by the militia. This is to bring fear of repression into the local people of Darfur.  A child’s death for example often is the breaking point for a family and that event makes that family more submissive to the government of Sudan and the militias will. In this case, they will be forced to move from their home to another place. The family, in particular, the men in that family, are less likely to act against the militia and government because of the fear of losing more children from the militias attacks in which case the cost of reprisal is a tragedy.  The same method is being used against women, in this case, women are often being sexually assaulted and raped in and around their camps. This is being done to force them to move.


The attacks are all blatant disregards for human life and reflect on inhuman methods in dealing with innocent civilians who have already been violently forced from their homes. The genocide in Darfur has been going on for 13 years the illusion that it is over is merely Omar al-Bashir’s attempt to sway public attention away from the genocide.  In addition to these violent attacks, it is the responsibility of UNAMID to uphold resolution 2296 and provide security and safety for these displaced persons and protect them from attack. UNAMID has been granted a civilian protection mandate under UNSC-R 1769 with chapter VII regime of the United nation These attacks take away the credibility of UNAMID in the eyes of the Janjaweed and the Sudanese armed forces which will embolden them to conduct more attacks.