AFRICA/SUDAN - More and more civilians are caught up in the “war between the generals”

Friday, 19 January 2024 military   displaced persons  

Khartoum (Agenzia Fides) - The war in Sudan has now transformed from a clash between the regular army (SAF) led by General Abdul Fattah al-Burhan, and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) under the command of Mohamed Hamdan Daglo known as Hemeti, into a conflict in which civilians are increasingly becoming involved. Both military formations have launched campaigns to recruit and arm civilians, including children, escalating clashes on an ethnic basis. A situation denounced by the UN expert on the human rights situation in Sudan, Radwan Nuweiser: "Despite numerous regional and international mediation initiatives, there is no peaceful solution in sight and the people of Sudan continue to bear the brunt of an endless cycle of violence that affects everyone “causing more human suffering, destruction and displacement every day”. Nuweiser expressed concern about reports of the recruitment of civilians, including children, to fight in the ranks of the armed forces and called on both parties to the conflict to urgently investigate any violations of international humanitarian law. The army distributes weapons to the population in the individual governorates. Marches are taking place on the streets in which hundreds of armed youth take part, accompanied by slogans calling on the population to arm themselves. As for the Rapid Support Forces, Radwan Noueiser pointed out that the RSF carries out attacks on an ethnic basis in Darfur, its stronghold in the western south: "In West Darfur, the Rapid Support Forces and their allied Arab militias have repeatedly attacked members of the African Masalit group”. On the other hand, the army and its affiliated militias are using violence against Darfur citizens because they are accused of spying for the RSF due to their ethnicity and tribal affiliation, which leads them to join the ranks of the RSF. The conflict has now entered its tenth month of fighting and the humanitarian situation is so serious that the director of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) stated that "the largest population movement in the world" is taking place in Sudan. IOM estimates more than 7.7 million people have been forced to flee their homes since fighting began on 15 April 2023. Six million of them are internally displaced people in Sudan. Almost 2 million have fled to South Sudan, Chad, Ethiopia, Egypt, the Central African Republic and Libya. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 19/1/2023)