More mass graves found in West Darfur, RSF accused of demolishing camps

Thousands of refugees from El Geneina, West Darfur, arrived in André, Chad (Photo: MSF France)

Community leaders in West Darfur have uncovered 30 hidden mass graves containing roughly 1,000 bodies of victims of the ongoing attacks on the state capital El Geneina since last April. The Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have been accused of deliberately obscuring evidence of war crimes and demolishing camps for displaced people.

Representative of the Masalit tribe, Farsha Saleh Arbab gave a press conference in Port Sudan on Saturday after his return from Chadian capital N’Djamena in which he accused the RSF of seeking to obscure evidence of crimes committed in El Geneina by burying bodies in hidden locations and forcing the Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRCS) to hand over bodies.

Arbab said that the RSF force the SRCS to gather the bodies scattered around the city and load them into vehicles. These are then used by the RSF to bury them in unknown locations where they cannot be studied. He also noted that hundreds of bodies had been dumped in the Kaja Valley.

The El Geneina Resistance Committees Coordination confirmed such reports and said that several bodies are still on the rooves of houses or inside buildings and have not been buried or dealt with.

The Masalit leader made several other informed accusations against the RSF, including his reports that the RSF are demolishing all camps for the displaced, including Abu Zar camp and Ghabat El Neem camp.

This was also reported by the resistance committees, who listed at least five camps that were being demolished.

El Geneina and the rest of West Darfur were targeted because regional leaders refused to respond to the RSF request for support in their attack on Sudan, according to El Farsha

He explained at a press conference in Port Sudan that the RSF mobilised more than a hundred thousand soldiers from neighbouring countries before the war started and added: “we informed the leadership of the state of this matter in a timely manner”.

The RSF and militias are holding civilians in various localities hostage, preventing them from leaving the country and forcing them to pay a ransom, he said.

He also referred to the deaths of residents and lawyers in Kerending 1 and 2 and explained that at least 50 lawyers fled from El Geneina to eastern Chad.

Up until two days before the killing of the West Darfur governor, commonly mentioned as a moment after which the situation got even worse, 5,000 people had already been killed and at least eight thousand had been wounded in El Geneina. Many more lost their lives on the roads between El Geneina and Ardamata or between El Geneina and Adré in Chad.

At least 600 died of their wounds inside treatment centres, Arbab reported.


El Geneina has become uninhabitable, with at least 90 per cent of the residents having sought refuge in eastern Chad.

Arbab called on the army “to speed up the liberation of El Geneina and seize those involved in the crimes before they flee abroad”.

The Masalit farsha also called on the commission of inquiry set up by the chairperson of the Sovereignty Council, Army Commander Abdelfattah El Burhan, to quickly make their way to Chad to hear the testimonies of survivors. He further demanded the appointment of a new governor to fill the administrative vacuum in the state so that it can receive its share of aid supplies.

Community leaders have indicated that refugees in Chad, where they suffer from the rainfall and lack of shelter, are ready to return to El Geneina and other places in West Darfur when it is safe to do so.