Over 150 Villagers Feared Dead In Sudan Massacre

0
364

The paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) has been blamed for the murder of at least 150 people, including 35 children in a village in central Sudan.

The paramilitary group have been fighting the Sudanese Army for more than 13 months over control of the country.

The RSF has not commented on the accusations, but on Thursday boasted of attacking two army positions.

Footage circulating on social media after Wednesday’s raid showed dozens of bodies wrapped in white shrouds prepared for burial in Wad al-Nourah in Gezira state.

That video was filmed by activists from a neighbourhood resistance committee, part of a network of local groups across the country which back a return to civilian rule.

The Madani Resistance Committee said it was now “waiting for a confirmed toll of the dead and injured”.

Unicef said 35 children were killed in the attack, with more than 20 others injured.

The agency’s executive director Catherine Russell described the scenes on the ground as devastating.

“This is yet another grim reminder of how the children of Sudan are paying the price for the brutal violence,” Ms Russell said in a statement.

Over the past year, thousands of children have been killed and injured, more than five million forced from their homes and others recruited, abducted and raped, according to Ms Russell.

The circumstances of Wednesday’s killings remain unclear – it is alleged the village was attacked twice by the RSF fighters that day.

Hafiz Mohamad, from leading human rights group Justice Africa Sudan, has told the BBC that many more people are still missing but that it was “difficult to count all the dead” because “RSF elements are still around the area looting”.

Sudan’s military government has called for international condemnation of the Wad al-Nourah attack.

UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron condemned the “assault on innocent people” and blamed the RSF in a post on X.

“The RSF must stop these attacks,” Mr Cameron wrote. “The world is watching. Those responsible will be held to account.”

The RSF took control of Gezira state, to the south of the capital, Khartoum, in December and has been accused of carrying out numerous abuses against civilians there – which it denies.

Meanwhile, intense battles continue between the RSF and the military in El Fasher, a city in Darfur in the west of the country.

Across the country, more than 15,000 people are estimated to have been killed since the conflict started in April 2023.
Several rounds of peace talks have failed to end the war, which began when the two generals leading the army and RSF fell out.

UN agencies said the fighting has sparked the world’s largest displacement crisis and that millions are facing a hunger catastrophe as a result.

Martin Griffiths, the UN’s under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, said this week that up to five million people were highly likely to be at risk of famine.

“I don’t think we’ve ever had this kind of number at risk of famine,” he said, adding that “this was an avoidable conflict.”

“It is a place where two men decided that they were going to resolve their differences through fighting and take their country down,” said Mr Griffiths.