Sudan’s Civil War Escalates

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Residents of the North Dafur region face displacement in South Sudan, May 16 2023. (Sam Mednick/AP)

One of the states of Sudan, North Dafur, is facing an attack from the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and their allies, who are fighting the Sundanese Armed Forces (SAF) in their country’s civil war. The fighting has been taking place in El Fashir, one of the cities of North Dafur. 

Nathanial Raymond, a human rights activist who has been keeping track of the situation explained how he believes that RSF troops have made it into the city already. “The information is clear. We know what’s going to happen. [The RSF] has motive. They have intent. They’ve literally killed before, over and over again. And they’ve stated what they want to do here,” says Raymond, who also serves as the executive director at the Humanitarian Research Lab at Yale School of Public Health. “The worst case is Hiroshima- and Nagasaki-level casualties.”

The RSF has faced numerous allegations of commiting mass-killings as well as mass-rapes during the war. 

The most notorious example, has been in the capital of West Dafur, in El Geneina, where 10,000 to 15,000 perople were killed in ethnic targeted killings last year.

“The amount of people from groups that they have targeted for killing is five times larger than El Geneina here, if not bigger. And so they’ll have a question about the modality of killing. Will they waste the bullets? How will they do it?” says Raymond. “The job for me and my team is to position ourselves to move from warning, as the warning phase ends, to documentation — to capture evidence for future accountability.”

The conflict started in April of 2023, then becoming a global humanitarian crisis, causing roughly eight million people to become displaced.

“There are many families here who rely on only one meal a day. The RSF surrounding El Fasher threatens the citizens with death – by hunger and thirst,” said Tagaldeen, a resident residing in one of the camps in El Fasher. “We ask the international community to intervene urgently to save the citizens in Darfur, and in El Fasher especially.”

Written by Kevin Han

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