The Sudan Liberation Movement under the leadership of Abdel Wahid El Nur (SLM-AW), the SLM faction led by Minni Minawi (SLM-MM), and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) called on the international community to condemn “the genocide in South Darfur”, to provide immediate relief to the newly displaced, and to “do whatever it takes to crack the culture of impunity” in the region.
In a joint statement released on Tuesday, the three main Darfuri armed resistance movements reiterate their condemnation of the attacks of militias, “under the command of the Sudanese security apparatus” on the villages in the area “south of the Ed Daein-Nyala railway”.
The rebel forces demand an urgent neutral investigation into the “dimensions of the crime and the perpetrators,” and call on the United Nations, the European Union, the African Union, and human rights and humanitarian organisations to “do whatever it takes to crack the culture of impunity in the region”.
They blame the UN-AU peacekeeping mission in Darfur (Unamid) for its inability to protect unarmed civilians, as well as its “inaction to present the truth and to persecute the war criminals”.
The three rebel leaders hold “the Governor of South Darfur, the chairman of the military Joint Chiefs of Staff, the commander of the Sudanese Air Force, the head of the National Security and Intelligence Services, the commander of the so-called Rapid Support Forces (RSF), and the RSF field commander, Ahmed Hamdan “Hemeti” responsible for the individual and collective crimes”.
In the joint statement the rebel forces report that the militia troops destroyed more than 40 villages. “More than 20,000 people had to flee from their villages, seeking refuge in the mountains, forests, and the nearby camps for the displaced. They have murdered more than 200 children, women and elder people, raped a large number of young women, and abducted many others. Tens of thousands of livestock have been stolen.”
These “barbaric” militias clearly targeted Um Gunja, Hijer Tunjo, and dozens of other villages in the area southeast of Nyala, despite the fact that the “government knew with certainty that there were no armed movements present in the area,” the statement said. “This proves that the campaign, from the start, was aimed at unarmed civilians. It is part of a deliberate genocide scheme, in order to eliminate the civilian population of those areas, by killing and starving them.”
File photo: SLM leader Minni Minawi attends the Technical Workshop on All-Inclusive Peace and Security in Darfur co-organised by Unamid and IGAD in Addis Ababa, 2013 (Albert González Farran/Unamid)
Darfur Relief Centre calls for ‘thorough review of Unamid’ (4 March 2014)