The United Nations has called for “immediate action” to put an end to the killings targeting those fleeing Genena, the capital of West Darfur state, at the hands of Arab militias backed by the Rapid Support Forces led by Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo.
In a statement, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said, “We are deeply concerned about the continued indiscriminate killings and call for immediate action to put an end to it.”
The statement continued, “A safe passage must be ensured for those fleeing Genena and humanitarian agencies must be allowed to access the area to retrieve the bodies of the dead.”
The High Commissioner’s office received this information through interviews conducted with refugees who fled Genena and the surrounding area to neighboring Chad.
According to “consistent information,” the Masalit tribe members are particularly targeted in the killings.
The High Commissioner’s office said, “Of the 16 people we have been able to meet so far, 14 people said they witnessed summary executions and targeted attacks on groups of civilians on the road between Genena and the borders – whether by directly firing at people who were ordered to lie on the ground or by firing at a group of people.”
The testimonies relate to killings that occurred on June 15th and 16th, as well as last week.
A United Nations report earlier this week stated that 1,100 people were killed in Genena alone.
The High Commissioner’s office said, “We understand that killings and other acts of violence continue to occur and are accompanied by ongoing hate speech against the Masalit community, including calls for their killing and expulsion from Sudan.”
The High Commissioner for Human Rights called on the leaders of the Rapid Support Forces to “immediately and unequivocally condemn the killing of those fleeing Genena, put an end to other acts of violence and hate speech against them based on their ethnic identity.”
It called for those responsible for the killings and other acts of violence to be held accountable and said that Genena has become uninhabitable after the destruction of basic infrastructure facilities, while the delivery of humanitarian aid remains difficult.