United to End Genocide is deeply troubled by the new surge of violence across Darfur and urges the United States government and the international community to take serious measures to end the continued carnage orchestrated by Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and his allied “Janjaweed militias’’ in Darfur.
Despite the fact that genocidal attacks began over a decade ago, the international community has failed to end the violence and hold Bashir and his Janjaweed forces accountable.Since February 28, a new wave of bloody attacks has been unleashed against civilians in the North, South and Central Darfur by the Janjaweed militias. About 38 villages in South Darfur are reported to have been completely burned and destroyed to the ground.
As a result, 100,000 people fled their homes in Darfur in the first week of March, bringing the total number of newly displaced persons to 120,000 in 2014. These alarming numbers are on top of the 460,000 people displaced by violence in 2013, the highest number since the height of the genocide in 2004.
Driving this massive displacement are attacks across Darfur. Musa Hillal the notorious Janjaweed leader and the presidential assistant to Omar al-Bashir took over the city of Saraf Omra in North Darfur. Killing, looting and abduction of women has widely been reported by people living in those areas. Seeking protection, many civilians fled to a UNAMID compound and many more left for other areas. Air bombings by the Sudanese government particularly in eastern Jabel Marra have been reported by Radio Dabanga and residents who fled to North Darfur to have killed an unknown number of people.
Reports confirm that a rebel armed group led by Minni Minawi attacked three major cities in Eastern Darfur. Upon his withdrawal, the Janjaweed entered the cities and continued terrorizing civilians. The widespread use of rape and abduction of women have also been reported.
A UN report released in January 2014 highlighted the alarming conditions of those living in internally displaced people (IDP) camps. Over 2 million people remain displaced and 3.5 million are in need of humanitarian assistance. More continue to flee and have yet to be reached by humanitarian assistance as reported by our sources on the ground in Darfur.
In response to the increased violence and conditions of those living in IDP camps, Darfur university students began protests in the capital of Khartoum demanding an end to violence and the destruction in Darfur. The government responded with live bullets, tear gas, arrest and abduction of protesters. One student was killed and many more were seriously injured. Government security forces are still hunting protesters for arrest and likely torture.
“The continuity of this horror and the wholesale destruction of lives in Darfur is happening because of silence and the inaction from the international community to put an end to these heinous crimes. Bashir’s regime has been enabled and emboldened to kill more people because of a lack of action and accountability for his crimes,” said Niemat Ahmadi, Director of Global Partnerships.
“Specific steps should be taken to increase pressure on Bashir and his cronies, starting with intelligence efforts toward smarter sanctions and diplomatic and economic pressure on countries that continue to welcome Bashir.”
United to End Genocide strongly calls on the United States government and the member states of the UN Security Council to press Bashir and its allied Janjaweed militias to immediately stop attacks against civilians.
We demand a United Nations’ investigation of the crimes committed in recent weeks in Darfur as well as full and unrestricted access for humanitarian assistance to the affected communities. Finally, we urge the world to ensure that UNAMID lives up to its mandate to protect civilians and to report on abuses and restrictions by the Government of Sudan.