RSF killed civilians in attack on Sudanese village, army says

Paramilitary group says troops and allied volunteers were targets of attack in Wad Al Noura

A fighter loyal to Sudan's army, in the south-east of the country. The civil war has been raging since April last year. AFP
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Sudan's paramilitary Rapid Support Forces has been accused of killing dozens of civilians, including women and children, in an attack on a village.

The RSF denied killing civilians and said the targets of the attack were the country's army, which the RSF has been fighting against in a civil war since April last year, and allied volunteers in the village of Wad Al Noura, south of Khartoum.

The paramilitary said the fighting took place early on Wednesday morning.

“Our forces will not stand idly by and not deal with the enemy’s movements or assemblies,” the RSF said in a statement.

A local pro-democracy group, the Madani Resistance Committee, said "up to 100 people were killed" when the RSF attacked the village. It said it was still waiting for an official death toll, but that civilians were among the dead.

Two senior humanitarian officials told Bloomberg that more than 100 people were killed. There was no independent confirmation of the death toll.

The ruling army-led Sovereign Council described the incident as a massacre and accused the RSF of killing innocent civilians.

The army did not say how many people were killed, but images shared among Sudanese social media users showed dozens of bodies covered in white sheets as they were prepared for burial.

The war in Sudan is essentially a fight for control of the vast Afro-Arab country between two generals: army chief Gen Abdul Fattah Al Burhan and RSF commander Gen Mohamed Dagalo. The conflict broke out when months of tension over details of the country’s democratic transition boiled over.

The conflict has killed about 150,000 people, according to some estimates, and displaced nearly nine million people. It has also drawn charges of war crimes against the army and the RSF, and created a humanitarian crisis that has left millions to the brink of famine.

The RSF front-runner is the notorious Janjaweed militia, which fought on the side of the government during the conflict in Darfur in the 2000s that left at least 300,000 dead and displaced 2.5 million.

The militia and government forces have been accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity in that conflict, with Sudan's former leader Omar Al Bashir indicted by the International Criminal Court more than a decade ago.

The RSF has been accused of killing thousands of ethnic Africans in Darfur last summer. The attacks have forced tens of thousands of Darfur residents to flee to neighbouring Chad.

Updated: June 06, 2024, 1:46 PM