We are deeply concerned about the recent reports of violence in West Darfur, where Rapid Support Forces and their allied Arab militia have reportedly killed hundreds of Masalit civilians in Ardamata town. This is yet another attack targeting non-Arab Masalit civilians, and it is extremely troubling.
Preliminary information from survivors and witnesses indicates that the Masalit civilians endured six days of terror at the hands of the RSF and its allied militia after they took control of the Sudanese army’s base in Ardamata. This occurred just outside the capital of West Darfur, El Geneina. Some victims were summarily executed or burned alive. Many of those killed were young Masalit men and relatives of Sudanese soldiers who remained in Ardamata after the troops fled.
Reports also indicate that women and girls were subjected to sexual violence in the Ardamata IDP camp and in some homes. This has led to thousands being displaced, with some crossing the border to Chad.
In the majority Masalit-inhabited IDP camps and neighborhood of Al-Kabri, the RSF and its allied militias reportedly looted property, tortured IDPs, and executed many of them before leaving their bodies unburied in the streets.
The attack in Ardamata is the second reported mass attack against Masalit civilians by the RSF and its allied Arab militia in recent months. Between May and June 2023, hundreds of Masalit men, women, and children were killed, and there are also allegations of revenge attacks by some members of the Masalit militias against Arab civilians.
We call for an immediate end to all violations and for those responsible to be brought to justice following thorough, independent, and impartial investigations. We also urge the RSF leadership to condemn and stop the killings, violence, and hate speech targeting civilians based on their ethnicity.
Amid reports of an imminent RSF assault on El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur, we remind all parties to the conflict to respect their international humanitarian law obligations to ensure the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).