The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Sudan signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Rapid Support Forces in Khartoum on Tuesday. The Communist Party of Sudan has accused the country’s military of destabilising the situation in Sudan’s western region out of self-interest.
ICRC Sudan and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) will work together “to ensure that RSF officers and soldiers are adequately trained on the scope and applicability of the Geneva Conventions and other provisions of Human Rights Law,” the head of the ICRC delegation, Pascal Cuttat, said in a tweet yesterday.
Following the signing of the MoU agreement that took place at the militia’s headquarters in Khartoum, RSF Commander and Deputy Chairman of the Sovereignty Council, Lt Gen Mohamed ‘Hemeti’ Dagalo said he considers the memorandum “a strategic step in line with international law and conducive to the development of the RSF in scholarly fields and acquiring knowledge and training”.
He added that he is looking forward “to the development of the partnership and its continuation in order to establish well trained, capable forces committed to international agreements”.
Cuttat emphasised in his speech the importance of the partnership based on the principles of international humanitarian law in accordance with the Geneva Conventions, as women and children in particular will be protected after the trainings.
The Communist Party of Sudan (CPoS) has accused Sudan’s military as well as the rebel movements of destabilising the situation in Darfur to realise their personal goals.
CPoS leading member Adam Sharif said in a press conference at the party’s premises in Khartoum II on Tuesday that the conflicts in Darfur are not tribal but economical. The “systematic and planned attacks” should be understood as attempts to gain control over gold and uranium resources.
Sharif said that the country’s crises can only be solved by a democratic government in a country where the Rule of Law is respected, displaced people and refugees can safely return to their places of origin, and where a single professional army exists, and the various militias including the RSF as well as rebel movements have been dissolved.
Ahmed Ishag, member of the Committee for Stopping the Massacres in West Darfur, told reporters in El Geneina on Sunday that the renewed attacks on villages in the region in the past weeks have nothing to do with tribal conflicts. The violence erupted during “harvest time” and is meant to destroy livelihoods and chase the people from the region, he said.
The Darfur region is a rich repository of precious minerals and metals such as uranium, gold, iron, copper, and zinc.
In December 2019, Radio Dabanga reported that RSF Commander Hemeti started arrangements to hand over the mining areas in North Darfur’s Jebel Amer, allegedly controlled and exploited by the Al Junaid company he is linked with, to the authorities in Khartoum.
The RSF, Sudan’s largest paramilitary force since 2013, has reportedly carried out attacks against towns, farms, and civilians in Darfur since 2016. A number of these villages have been destroyed and have turned into ghost towns after residents fled the area, satellite images from before and after the attacks show.