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Ethnic mass killings in one Sudan city left up to 15,000 dead last year : UN report

Ethnic mass killings in one city alone in the West Darfur region of Sudan have left up to 15,000 dead, according to a UN report.

The UN report seen by Reuters on Friday said between 10,000 and 15,000 people were killed last year in West Darfur State’s El Geneina City.

In the UN report, ethnic violence carried out by the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), and allied Arab militia fighting Sudan’s Army led by the country’s de-facto ruler, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, was cited as the reason for the killings.

The RSF, however, has previously denied such reports, claiming that if any of its soldiers were found to be involved in ethnic violence, the perpetrators would be prosecuted and face justice.

Independent UN sanctions monitors attributed the death toll in El Geneina to “credible” intelligence sources.

Monitors wrote in the report, which was handed to the UN Security Council, that between April and June 2023, El Geneina experienced “intense violence,” blaming the RSF and allies for targeting the ethnic African Masalit tribe in attacks that “may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.”

“The attacks were planned, coordinated, and executed by RSF and their allied Arab militias,” the sanctions monitors wrote in their annual report. “When reaching RSF checkpoints women and men were separated, harassed, searched, robbed, and physically assaulted.”

The monitors reported, “The RSF and allied militias indiscriminately shot hundreds of people in the legs to prevent them from fleeing.”

“Young men were particularly targeted and interrogated about their ethnicity. If identified as Masalit, many were summarily executed with a shot to the head. Women were physically and sexually assaulted. Indiscriminate shootings also injured and killed women and children,” the report added.

The Masalit tribe had been the majority in El Geneina until the RSF-led attacks forced their mass exodus, according to the report.

The monitors said the RSF takeover of most of Darfur relied on three lines of support, including Arab allied communities, dynamic and complex financial networks, and new military supply lines running through Chad, Libya, and South Sudan.