The UN Human Rights Office reported on Thursday that the bodies of numerous individuals. They are believed to have been killed by Sudanese paramilitary forces and an affiliated militia and have been discovered in a mass grave in West Darfur. Credible information obtained by the agency revealed that there were at least 87 bodies, including members of the ethnic African Masalit tribe. They were victims of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and their associated Arab militia. The bodies were found in a shallow grave measuring approximately one meter in depth, located just outside the city of Geneina.
The conflict in Sudan has been marked by ongoing violence since mid-April. Tensions between the military and the RSF escalated into open fighting. Over the past 12 weeks, Darfur has become a focal point of the conflict. Witnessing a surge in ethnic violence perpetrated by the paramilitary troops and their allied Arab militias. Primarily targeting the Masalit and other African ethnic groups.
Coercion and Brutality: Residents Forced to Bury Bodies in Shallow Grave
According to the U.N. Human Rights Office, the initial 37 bodies were buried on June 20. Later, followed by an additional 50 bodies were dumped at the same site the next day. Among the victims, seven women and seven children were laid to rest. Residents were reportedly coerced by the RSF and Arab militia to bury the bodies. The killings occurred between June 13 and June 21 in the Al-Madaress and Al-Jamarek districts of Geneina. Following the eruption of violence after the assassination of West Darfur’s governor, Khamis Abdalla Abkar. Meanwhile, the circumstances surrounding his abduction and killing remain unclear.
Rights groups have documented the extensive displacement of hundreds of thousands of individuals over the past two months. As the paramilitary and their allies ravaged West Darfur. Recent figures from the International Organization for Migration indicate that over 238,000 people have sought refuge in neighbouring Chad. During the pillaging, entire towns and villages in West Darfur province have been subjected to arson and looting. Moreover, leaving communities devastated.
Above all the discovery of the mass grave serves as a grim reminder of the grave human rights violations and atrocities being committed in the region.