Real and growing risk of genocide in Sudan – UN official

 The U.N. special adviser on the prevention of genocide warned Tuesday that Sudan exhibits all the risk signs of genocide, and it may already have been committed.

“The protection of civilians in Sudan cannot wait,” Alice Nderitu said. “The risk of genocide exists in Sudan. It is real and it is growing, every single day.”

Nderitu addressed a meeting of the U.N. Security Council to mark the 25th anni­versary of a resolution on the protection of civilians in armed conflict and the 75th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions.

She said many Sudanese civilians are targeted based on their identity.

“In Darfur and El Fasher, civilians are being attacked and killed because of the col­or of their skin, because of their ethnicity, because of who they are,” Nderitu said in a video briefing. “They are also targeted with hate speech and with direct incitement to violence.”

El Fasher is the capital of North Dar­fur, where fighting has recently escalated between the rival Sudanese Armed Forces, or SAF, based inside the city, and the para­military Rapid Support Forces, or RSF, who have now reportedly advanced into it.

El Fasher is the only city in the Darfur region that the RSF has not captured. More than 800,000 civilians are sheltering there, and a full-scale battle could unleash atrocities similar to those of the genocide carried out by Arab Janjaweed fighters against African Zaghawa, Masalit, Fur and other non-Arab ethnic groups in Darfur in the early 2000s.

Janjaweed fighters make up today’s RSF.

“Ethnically motivated attacks targeting these specific groups — the Masalit, and also the Fur and the Zaghawa — have been, and reportedly continue, being con­ducted primarily by RSF and allied armed Arab militias,” Nderitu said. “They are reported to act in patterns whereby attacks against specific locations and individuals tend to be announced in advance, which could constitute indication of clear intent to destroy.”

Intent to destroy is a key part of the crime of genocide.

Nderitu said attacks reported on villages around El Fasher appear intended to cause displacement and fear, rather than accom­plish specific military objectives.

Source: Voice of America (VOA)

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