Darfur Women Action Group (DWAG) is outraged by the continued violence, destruction, and loss of life in West Darfur, as well as the forced displacement of thousands of people who called the region home. The international community has shamefully continued to ignore the current happenings in Darfur and the needs of the people there, even as it observes the negotiations in Khartoum between the ruling junta and remnants of the transitional government.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sudan reported that at least 30,000 people have fled to Chad as a result of ethnic violence in West Darfur, El Geneina locality, allegedly caused by police negligence. According to OCHA, 6 people died, 8 were injured, and at least 59 homes were razed and looted. Despite the deployment of joint security forces, the situation remains tense. 

The violence began on March 23 after a member of the Mararit tribe was killed in Tendelti, West Darfur State. Consequently, a group of Mararit tribe members stoned the two alleged attackers to death, who were Arab. In retaliation, Arab militias – some allegedly ‘’dressed in the uniform of the Rapid Support Forces’’ attacked Tandulti, shooting a medical assistant named Abdullah Yahya Yaqoub to death, as well as burning and looting over 85 homes. 

According to the Darfur Network for Human Rights, the conflict initiated after the killing of a prominent businessman, Mustafa Yousef. Although the community apprehended the suspects, the police refused to take them into custody; community members subsequently responded by taking matters into their own hands. To address the security situation, the government has launched an investigative committee into the police’s failure to arrest the two suspects. 

People in Darfur continue to suffer in the midst of ethnic violence and the collapse of law and order. Perpetrators of ethnic and genocidal violence believe they can continue committing atrocities with impunity as there will be no one to stop them, especially given that the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) is directly complicit in devastating attacks itself. There is little surprise that RSF-backed peace agreements in the region have been failing, as the Darfur Network also noted. Yet the world looks away and ignores its international legal obligations to Darfur. We at DWAG call on the international community to protect civilian lives at risk and implement firm accountability measures for perpetrators. We call on the international community, the US, and the UN Security Council to take the following measures: 

If the global community truly wishes for a new dawn to emerge in Sudan and Darfur, it must not ignore the plight of innocent civilians suffering from ethnic violence, breakdown of law and order, and forced displacement. To our supporters at DWAG, we ask you to join us in speaking up loudly and demanding humanitarian protection for all at risk and accountability for all guilty of human rights abuses. By acting together, however, we can make a difference.