DBA: Four lawyers slain in West Darfur ‘deliberately targeted’

File photo: Creative Commons


Four lawyers have died during the upsurge of violence in El Geneina, capital of West Darfur, as the death toll now exceeds 5,000 and the injured surpass 8,000. The Darfur Bar Association (DBA) asserts that “the lawyers were deliberately targeted for their involvement in reporting past incidents,” and calls for immediate international intervention.

The recent attacks on El Geneina have claimed the lives of four lawyers who were deliberately targeted for their involvement in reporting past incidents in the West Darfur capital, according to a statement by the DBA.

Saleh Mahmoud, the head of the DBA, highlighted the ‘systematic’ nature of these killings, pointing fingers at leaders of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). International officials characterised the violations in El Geneina as potentially constituting crimes against humanity.

El Geneina, the capital of West Darfur, has been engulfed in continuous violence for over three weeks. According to a statement from the Sultanate of Dar Masalit, the death toll has surpassed 5,000, with more than 8,000 people injured.

Testimonies of refugees who spoke to Radio Dabanga corroborate accounts of ethnic cleansing and at least three organisations have likened the violence in El Geneina to the Rwandan Genocide. The DBA has also described the situation in El Geneina as “a full-scale genocide”.

Radio Dabanga published a longer analysis of the situation in El Geneina based on witness accounts from people who fled to Chad, Radio Dabanga correspondents, and international health workers.

Chapter VII

In an interview with Radio Dabanga, Saleh Mahmoud emphasised the urgency of referring the situation in El Geneina to the Security Council under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, which remains in force.

He emphasised that all resolutions passed on Darfur by the Security Council since 2003-2004 were enacted under Chapter VII and have not been rescinded.

Chapter VII provides a crucial opportunity to pursue justice by conducting thorough investigations and identifying those responsible for the crimes committed, he explained. “Neglecting these violations and crimes only serves to embolden the perpetrators, allowing them to continue their reign of terror”.

Expressing scepticism, Mahmoud dismissed the prospect of internal forces, such as the Ajaweed* councils and the civil administration, effectively intervening in the situation. He argued that these parties have long been exploited by the ruling regime, making them incapable of stopping the atrocities in El Geneina.

Mahmoud also drew attention to the disintegration of state institutions and their ‘involvement in the atrocities’. He called upon neutral entities, including the African Peace and Security Council, the UN Security Council, and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, to intervene immediately to halt the ongoing war and crimes.

*Ajaweed are tribal elders who mediate and arbitrate in case of intercommunal conflicts in Darfur.