The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) alleged that there are “grounds to believe” that Sudan’s warring military factions are the ones committing serious crimes in the Darfur region.
Karim Khan on Monday told the UN Security Council that his office is collecting “a very significant body of material, information and evidence” indicating that Sudan’s regular army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have committed genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of aggression in Darfur.
The investigation by Mr Khan’s office began in July last year, shortly after fighting erupted between Sudan’s army and the RSF.
Darfur is one of the regions most impacted by the ongoing conflict.
More than half a million refugees have fled into Chad to escape the violence in the region.
Mr Khan also warned that the situation in Darfur is escalating and urged Sudan’s authorities to cooperate with the ICC’s investigations.
The UN and human rights groups have previously voiced concern following reports alleging that the RSF and allied forces have killed hundreds of the ethnically African Masalit people in West Darfur in ethnic cleansing attacks.
There are fears that the current war could deteriorate into a deeper conflict as was witnessed in the early 2000s, when more than 300,000 people were killed and millions displaced in Darfur, in a war that was marked by targeted ethnic cleansing attacks.