Sudanese security forces have killed, raped and burned civilians alive during two military campaigns in Darfur that left thousands of people displaced from their homes, a prominent human rights organization has claimed.
A new report by Human Rights Watch accuses Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces, which are under the command of Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services, of committing “widespread and systematic” crimes against civilians that include mass rape, torture and murder when the forces were ordered to carry out counterinsurgency campaigns in 2014 and 2015 in Darfur.
“The RSF led two counter-insurgency campaigns in the long-embattled region of Darfur in 2014 and 2015 in which its forces repeatedly attacked villages, burned and looted homes, beating, raping and executing villagers,” the HRW report stated.
The first of the two RSF campaigns occurred between February and May of 2014 in North and South Darfur and was given the name “Operation Decisive Summer.” The second counterinsurgency began in January of this year in the mountainous central Darfur and ran through June under the name “Operation Decisive Summer II.”
HRW interviewed over 151 survivors and witnesses who fled to Chad and South Sudan. Among those interviewed include women who were victimized in the rapings and troops that defected from the RSF.
Beyond the rapes, torture and murders, the counterinsurgency campaigns displaced entire communities from their homes after fighters destroyed wells, food stores and other necessary pieces of infrastructure needed to live in a desert environment. On top that, the RSF forces allegedly stole wealth and goods, such as livestock, from civilian families.
The report adds that many of the victims were killed after they tried to stop fighters from raping the women or because they refused to give up their property.
“[The government soldiers] confiscated our belongings. They took our livestock. They beat the men. And then they raped us,” 38-year-old Mahassan from the Golo area told HRW in July. “They raped us in a group. Some women were raped by eight or 10 men. Seventeen women were raped together. All of us were raped. Even the underage girls were raped.”
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SOURCE: The Christian Post