June 28, 2023
For Immediate Release
For contact: Communication@darfurwomenaction.org
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Darfur Must Be Placed Under International Trusteeship
Mass killing, extermination and massive exodus on ethnic bases is unfolding in Darfur while the state authority is in total collapse.
Washington D.C., Today, Darfur Women Action Group (DWAG) and over 30 Sudanese Civil Society organizations within Sudan and the diaspora from across the world including groups from the US, Europe, Canada, Australia, and Africa signed a letter calling on the United Nations Security Council to place Darfur Under “International Trusteeship” to stop the mass extermination, massive exodus and expulsion of the Darfuri indigenous African civilians from their homeland by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and the allied Arab Militias. The signatories also emphasized that “Our call has not come lightly, but after careful analysis of the situation and factors demonstrating the danger of enabling the RSF in Darfur, it is evident that Darfur needs a stronger international intervention.”
Darfur has been through more than twenty years of the long-standing crises and unspeakable attrocities including: genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity that have driven over 4 million people out of their homes, who have yet to return home because their attackers have yet to be held accountable or apprehended. The situation in Darfur today is worse than it was in 2003 during the peak of the genocide. As millions are still battling the loss, physical pain and trauma they endured for years, they are once again facing a similar or even worse situation today.
The entirety of Sudan has been thrown into a state of collapse, as death and destruction rage on, particularly in the capital Khartoum where government shelling, air bombardment and machine gun attacks have targeted civilians’ homes, bridges, and evacuation routes. The attacks also targeted basic services including hospitals, electric sources and water sources. Similar counter attacks were administered by the RSF fighters while the militias occupied civilians’ homes, expelling the owners, attacking, and torturing those who refused to leave. These attacks have included rape and other gender-based crimes against women and girls by the RSF fighters in Khartoum and Darfur. Sources have reported that in Omdurman, numerous women have been held hostage and forced to act as sex slaves, while being kept under unspeakable unhygienic conditions. These atrocities possibly constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity, punishable under international law, and the international community must take this into account.
While the situation in Khartoum is horrifying, the situation in Darfur has escalated on an alarming scale and in indescribable scope.
As the situation in Khartoum remains intense, the Central, Eastern, and Northern States have relative stability where people from Khartoum and other areas can flee for safety. The scope of the attacks in Darfur are of a systematic nature whereby people are targeted for a complete extermination on ethnic bases and are left with limited options for survival. The nature of the attacks in Darfur are systemic and precisely directed toward the indigenous African population with intentions of complete destruction of services and means of survival. Through slaughter, deprivation of access to food, water, medical assistance and by restricting transportation of those in need of urgent medical attention, the RSF have began to carry out a genocide in Darfur. The RSF continues to deprive civilians of connection and aid by strategically blocking access to phone, internet, and electric services. This makes survival nearly impossible, as there is no way to call for help or emergency assistance. As stated by the signatories in the letter to the UN Security Council, “we are taxed to see videos of our loved ones killed and their dead bodies subjected to derogatory treatment and humiliation.” As the RSF and the allied Arabs militias celebrated the victory, stating “ the land is now no longer for the massalite but its alibeated Arabs land.” The blockade of internet and phone services further makes it difficult to account for everyone and for sources on the ground to document the actual size and severity of the casualties.
As stated by DAWG president, “the horrifying massacre and mass expulsion of indigenous Africans in El Geneina and the brutal slaughter of the West Darfur governor, Khamis Abakar, by the RSF, should have shocked the world’s consciousness and prompted immediate response by international communities. Mr. Abakar was executed just hours after he condemned the RSF for the war and specifically referred to it as a genocide. Genocidal violence has been carried out systematically in El Geneina, Kutum City and Tawila City in North Darfur as well as Nyala city in south Darfur by targeting ethnically identified groups and removing them from their lands.”
Many more cities are expected to see similar violent trends as the RSF forces are moving swiftly through the Darfur region while spreading recorded video messages cheering for what they have accomplished and confirming their intent to destroy and kill more people.
The undersigned are disappointed and are further dismayed to see the lack of urgency to end the conflict at the Jeddah Talks, as stated by many diaspora members “it seems more about the generals rather than the dying people of Sudan.”
The danger is that the rapid support forces in Darfur consisted of a large number of multinational Arabs troops from more than 5 west and central African nations who are seeking to remove and replace the indigenous Darfuris.
Many Darfuris believe that with the current level of destruction unfolding, even if peace is attained today, the situation in Darfur will not be resolved without a strong international presence. Placing Darfur under International Trusteeship is the most adequate, prudent, and effective solution given the current dangerous circumstances, to prevent disintegration or cross borders crises that can be difficult or even impossible to be contained. The International Trusteeship can and will restore order, serve as a deterrent and will save lives until Sudan once again becomes a state capable of establishing Rule of Law and has the ability to secure and govern its territory in peace.
Accordingly, DWAG and the undersigned Sudanese Civil Society and diaspora organizations call for the United Nations Security Council to take swift multi or bilateral action as well as urging US to take leadership in rallying the international community to support the diaspora’s call for placing Darfur under an international trusteeship. The Trusteeship process should be led by a coalition of willing participants to protect Darfur and the entire region from disintegration. This will protect millions, allow displaced civilians to return home, rebuild their lives and work with others to peacefully transform Sudan into a stable society. The signatories are equally concerned about the current attacks and the nature of deprivation of access and wish to urge for an immediate humanitarian corridor to be opened through Chad to swiftly deliver humanitarian aid to Darfur.
DWAG urges all of its partners and supporters to be a voice for the people of Sudan and support the people of Darfur in their call for international Trusteeship.
Read the full letter. Link to the online letter
March 28 - 2022
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