Women and children among 87 found in Darfur mass grave: UN report

KHARTOUM: The United Nations Human Rights Office (UNHRO) has revealed that it has uncovered bodies of at least 87 people, including women and children, buried in a mass grave in Sudan’s West Darfur.

“According to credible information gathered by UNHRO, those buried in the mass grave were killed by Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and their allied militia around 13-21 June,” the report states.

In recent weeks, ethnically motivated bloodshed has escalated as the country’s rival military factions, the army led by Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the paramilitary RSF headed by Hemedti, have brought Sudan to the brink of a civil war.

According to the report, rights groups in El Geneina have witnessed repeated attacks by the RSF and Arab militias against the non-Arab Masalit people, including close range shootings.

Local people were forced to dispose of the bodies including those of women and children in the shallow grave in an open area near the city between 20-21 June, it further claims.

“Some of the people had died from untreated injuries.”

Darfur’s Arab and Black African communities have seen tensions for years, with the worst violence erupting two decades ago when armed non-Arabs accused the government of discrimination.

The RSF was born out of the “Janjaweed Arab militia”, that suppressed the non-Arab rebellion by killing thousands of people in the past. The group was accused of widespread ethnic killings, described as the first genocide of the 21st century.

The recently reignited fighting between the RSF and the Sudanese army has re-awakened this conflict. Governor of West Darfur was assassinated last month after he accused the RSF of carrying out a genocide against the Masalit people.

The RSF, meanwhile, denies all involvement in West Darfur.

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