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Amnesty International: RSF must withdraw from Sudan capital

June 7 - 2019 KHARTOUM
RSF vehicles patrol empty streets of Khartoum this week (RD)
RSF vehicles patrol empty streets of Khartoum this week (RD)

Amnesty International has urged the Transitional Military Council “to immediately withdraw all members of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) government militia from policing and law enforcement anywhere in Sudan and especially in Khartoum”.

Fear is ruling Khartoum as RSF militiamen are patrolling in all districts of the capital. Their violent behaviour frightens the population.

The RSF, or Janjaweed as they are popularly called, are notorious in Sudan, in recent years especially in Darfur, for numerous assaults on the population. According to the 2015 Human Rights Watch report Men with no Mercy, the RSF were at that time accountable for “widespread systematic crimes against civilians”.

People in Khartoum now warn each other about the militiamen and most of them stay at home. The schools will open again in mid-June after the annual holiday. Parents of school children, especially high school girls, consider keeping them at home until the militiamen have left the city, a father from Omdurman, Khartoum’s twin city, told Radio Dabanga.

Held accountable

Amnesty International’s Secretary General Kumi Naidoo said that “those responsible for the Khartoum bloodbath, including at command level, must be held fully accountable for their dreadful actions”. Amnesty International also calls for the immediate unblocking of the internet and social media to allow the people of Sudan access to information and the opportunity to exercise their freedom of expression.

European Union

The European Union joined the African Union, that suspended Sudan on Thursday, in calling for an immediate end to violence and a credible inquiry into the criminal events of the past days. The EU stressed that negotiations with the Alliance for Freedom and Change towards a civilian-led Transitional Authority need to resume on the basis of agreements reached so far.

The United Nations decided on Wednesday to pull staff out of Sudan because of the violence. It will keep ‘critical’ members of staff in the country, according to spokesperson Farhan Haq.

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