According to a damning UN report, the advance of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) led by General Hemedti in Darfur last year was accompanied by ethnically motivated massacres, particularly in the capital of West Darfur, El-Geneina. The violence, as per these experts, could amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The UN experts report that in the sole city of El-Geneina, between 10,000 and 15,000 civilians were killed by the Rapid Support Forces. The capture of this city occurred in two stages, they explain: an attack in June, causing the mass displacement of Massalit communities to displaced person camps, and a final assault in November.
After facing resistance from the army, the paramilitaries, under the command of General Hemedti’s brother, targeted civilians in their homes, in refugee camps, and on the road as they fled towards Chad. Young Massalit men were specifically targeted, according to these experts, who document summary executions, rapes of girls as young as 14, destruction of property, and systematic looting.
The city of El-Geneina and its surroundings were emptied of its Massalit population. “The attacks were planned, coordinated, and executed by the RSF and their allied Arab militias,” states the UN report, concluding that these violations could constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity.