Int’l NGO: ‘UNSC needs to urgently intervene in North Darfur’

Displaced people in Zamzam camp south of El Fasher (File photo: Albert González Farran / UNAMID)

Refugees International, a prominent INGO, issued a grave warning on Tuesday indicating that the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) are about to launch imminent attacks on the city of El Fasher, North Darfur, home to 800,000 civilians, which requires urgent action.

The head of the organisation, Jeremy Konyndyk, has expressed serious concern about the high probability of a new wave of mass atrocities in Darfur. Konyndyk calls on the US and other members of the UN Security Council to take urgent measures to deter the belligerents, urging the UAE to stop arming those responsible for the atrocities, and urgently intervene to the command of the RSF to prevent an imminent atrocity, stating: “The RSF the paramilitary force composed of former Janjaweed fighters responsible for the genocide in Darfur two decades ago – and its allied militias have staged their troops around El Fasher and have burned multiple surrounding villages in recent weeks.”

This comes before the US Dept of State latest press statement on Sudan, with spokesperson Matthew Miller this Wednesday, saying: “The United States calls on all armed forces in Sudan to immediately cease attacks in El Fasher, North Darfur. We are alarmed by indications of an imminent offensive by the Rapid Support Forces and its affiliated militias”.

Konyndyk explains in his organisation’s statement that tensions have escalated in and around El Fasher amid the advance of SAF in other parts of Sudan, and the desire of the RSF to capture the last city in Darfur. 

He calls on international supporters of the (SAF) to urge restraint and stop the flow of weapons and said that both Egypt and Iran support SAF financially and reportedly with attack drones, which have been used on civilian targets. 

As previously reported, El Fasher is the last remaining stronghold of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) in Darfur and home to at least two million civilians and internally displaced people in and around the city, many of whom fled earlier RSF and aligned force violence. that the documented attacks on communities west of El Fasher increase the possibility of a large-scale, multi-directional RSF attack on El Fasher itself. 

Yale School of Public Health’s Humanitarian Research Lab in the US, based on analysis of remote sensing and open-source data, explains that one of the goals of the RSF movement towards El Fasher may be to clash with and defeat the SAF stationed there, leaving hundreds of thousands of civilians at extreme risk.