Two decades on, Sudan's Darfuris fear world has abandoned them

More than two decades after the outbreak of war in Darfur, fears are growing that the world has abandoned its people as a new conflict ravages Sudan and the perpetrators of atrocities act with impunity.

The vast western region of Sudan was still suffering from the carnage that started in 2003 when a new war erupted last April between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

With the conflict has come a fresh litany of horrors including rampant sexual violence, ethnically motivated massacres and mass displacement.

According to a report by United Nations experts, seen by AFP, the RSF and allied militias have killed between 10,000 and 15,000 people in the West Darfur city of El Geneina alone – at least five percent of its pre-war population.

Fighters "targeted the Massalit community" in what "may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity", the report said.

The RSF, which emerged from the Janjaweed militia that former president Omar al-Bashir unleashed in Darfur, now controls four out of five state capitals in the vast region.

Civilians have been left to face what one Sudanese researcher called "their worst nightmare".

On October 31, the RSF took the Central Darfur state capital of Zalingei, allegedly committing atrocities including "mass murder, summary executions, arbitrary detention, sexual assault, torture and looting", human rights defender Mohamed Bera told AFP from another country where he has sought refuge.

UN experts who investigated the attack said at least 16,250 camp residents had again been "violently displaced".

Read more on RFI English

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