Sudan conflict: ‘The RSF are not angels’

The aftermath of an alleged 'visit' by the RSF to a residential neighbourhood in Omdurman, June 12, 2023 (File Photo: RD)


The paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) deny accusations of targeting people based on their ethnic identities. Amnesty International is calling the RSF and its allied militias to allow safe passage to people fleeing the conflict.

“Our forces never target people and their properties. The SAF, however, is killing civilians and military officers based on their ethnicities,” RSF security advisor Ali El Tahir told Radio Dabanga yesterday.

He stressed that “the RSF include all Sudanese, and they are not angels. Some of them may commit crimes and there are currently around 200 RSF members in detention centres for offences against people.

“We are monitoring vehicles on the streets and any vehicle that has no registration papers proving the ownership of the car is seized. We seized several cars already and we have asked their rightful owners to come and collect them,” the advisor added.

Last week, the head of the UN mission (UNITAMS) Volker Perthes said that in West Darfur’s capital El Geneina, there is an emerging pattern of “large-scale targeted attacks against people based on their ethnic identities, allegedly committed by Arab militias and some armed men in RSF uniforms.”

El Geneina, 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.

Amnesty International

“The organization is alarmed at reports of ethnically-motivated targeted killings, sexual violence, widespread burning of homes, and mass displacement of non-Arab residents of West Darfur, particularly in and around El Geneina, by the RSF and allied Arab militias,” Tigere Chagutah, Amnesty International regional director, said on Monday.

“This spiralling violence bears terrifying similarities with the war crimes and crimes against humanity perpetrated in Darfur since 2003.”

“The protection of people across the country must be the highest priority and the international community must urgently support the humanitarian response in Sudan and the Region.”

“The parties to the conflict must comply with international humanitarian law. The RSF and its allied militias must allow safe passage to civilians fleeing the conflict,” Chagutah added.

Radio Dabanga reported on Thursday that Khamees Abakar, Wali (Governor) of West Darfur, was assassinated after unidentified assailants abducted him from his home in El Geneina. In a statement on Thursday, UNITAMS strongly condemned the killing of Abakar,“compelling eyewitness accounts attribute this act to Arab militias and the RSF, even though the RSF communicated a denial of their involvement in the mission”, they said.