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RSF livestock raids leave two dead, and three injured in North Darfur

May 28 - 2019 TAWILA
An armed column of RSF militiamen in North Darfur (File photo)
An armed column of RSF militiamen in North Darfur (File photo)

Two people were shot dead and two others, including a minor, wounded in attacks by gunmen in Tawila locality in North Darfur on Saturday. Members of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) government militia reportedly prevented farmers from reaching their farms.

A relative of one of the dead men told Radio Dabanga that the incident was carried out by eight gunmen wearing military uniforms and riding camels, on Saturday evening near the village of Tordi, 10 kilometres east of Khazan Tunjur.

He said the gunmen opened fire, killing Abdelrasoul Ali Saleh and Adam Yagoub Ali and wounded 12-year-old Ahmed Yagoub. They then stole 45 head of cattle.

The relative pointed out that the residents reported the incident to the garrison of the army at Murtal, but no one came out to pursue the culprits.

Nomad settlement

A witness told Radio Dabanga that In a separate incident on Sunday evening, a group of gunmen wearing military uniforms opened fire on a nomad settlement in the area of Falluja, south of Dubo El Omda in Tawila locality.

Mahjoub Suleiman was shot in the leg. The witness said the gunmen then stole 17 head of cattle.

Farmers reported to Radio Dabanga from Dubo El Omda that members of theRSF, some of them driving a Land Cruiser and others on camels, prevented farmers from reaching their farms around the village on Monday morning. They threatened to shoot anyone who does not abide by their order.

Hemeti

As reported by Radio Dabanga last week, the commander the RSF, Lt Gen Mohamed Hamadan (aka Hemeti), who is also deputy chairman of the ruling Transitional Military Council, cautioned the RSF to abide by discipline, stressing that they were being subjected to “a campaign of defamation”.

He said: “Attacks on civilians are forbidden. I know the RSF is a disciplined force, and anyone who commits a crime or an offense will immediately be disqualified and brought to justice”.

Sudan’s main militia

The RSF militia was created in 2013 to fight rebel movements throughout Sudan.

In January 2015, a constitutional amendment gave the militia the status of ‘regular force’. Members of the RSF were issued identity cards of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), which ensured them immunity, Human Rights Watch reported in 2015.

The RSF was commanded on the ground by Brig Gen Mohamed Hamdan ‘Hemeti’, former commander of the in Darfur notorious Border Guards militia, and Janjaweed leader.

The majority of the RSF troops consist of Darfuri Arab gunmen and militiamen, recruited by Hemeti since 2013. Ethnic Nuba have also reportedly been enlisted into the RSF. Sudanese who heard members of the RSF speaking, claimed that some of the fighters speak foreign dialects of Arabic, which they believe to be Chadian and Nigerian. In 2014-15 the RSF consisted of at least five to six thousand troops.

The RSF was integrated into the Sudanese army in 2017. The group used to be officially responsible for the persecution of illegal migrants and human smugglers.

Funding

According to Sudan watchers, the RSF have allegedly been receiving funds, though indirectly, from the EU.

In the combat against human trafficking and illegal migration to Europe, the European Commission granted a development aid package of €155 million to the Sudanese government in 2016 “to tackle the root causes of irregular migration in the country and improve migration management processes”.

The USA-based Enough Project warned in April 2017 that EU’s financial support to Sudan in combating illegal migration would assist the notorious RSF militia – which the EU denied.

In September 2018, Hemeti hit-out at the EU in for not thanking his forces for stopping illegal migrants at the border with Libya. The EU denied the allegations again.

Sudan also enjoys funding from Saudi Arabia since it joined the Saudi campaign against Iran-allied Houthi movement in Yemen in 2015. Most of the Sudanese troops fighting in Yemen belong to the RSF.


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