Translated and edited by: Justice Commission
Geneva: July 13, 2023
The United Nations Human Rights Office in Sudan revealed that the bodies of at least 87 Masalit, and others allegedly killed last month, by the Rapid Support Forces and allied militias in West Darfur, were buried in a mass grave outside El Geneina, the capital of the region, on the orders of the Rapid Support Forces.
The office confirmed that the locals were forced to dispose of the bodies in a mass grave, and denied the dead a decent burial in one of the city’s cemeteries. No less than 37 bodies were buried on June 20, in a mass grave about one meter deep in an open area called Al-Turab Al Ahmar (Red Soil), in the Ranga
area. Another 50 bodies were buried in the same site, on June 21, and among those buried were the bodies of seven women and seven children.
According to reliable information collected by the office, those buried in the mass grave were killed by the Rapid Support Forces and their allied militias, from 13 to 21 June, in the Al-Modarres and Customs districts of El Geneina.
According to reliable information collected by the office, those buried in the mass grave were killed by the Rapid Support Forces and their allied militias, from 13 to 21 June, in El-Geneina’s Al-Madaress and Al-Jamarek districts.
Calls to end racial discrimination:
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Turk, called on the Rapid Support Forces and other parties to the conflict to allow and facilitate prompt searches for the dead, their collection and evacuation without distinction, including based on ethnic background – as they are obliged to do under international law.
“I condemn in the strongest terms the killing of civilians and hors de combat individuals, and I am further appalled by the callous and disrespectful way the dead, along with their families and communities, were treated. There must be a prompt, thorough and independent investigation into the killings, and those responsible must be held to account,” Turk said.
The office quoted eyewitnesses that in cases where the RSF allowed the dead to be collected – after mediation with Arab and other community leaders – they refused to allow the wounded to be transferred to hospitals for medical treatment.
The office stressed that the RSF must record or allow relief workers to record all available information related to the dead, including taking appropriate photographs of the bodies and locating graves, with the aim of identification to facilitate the return of the remains of the deceased to families at their request.
The High Commissioner also called on the RSF leadership to immediately and unequivocally condemn and stop killing people, and to end violence and hate speech against people based on their ethnicity.