UN rights office says civilians buried upon orders of paramilitary RSF
At least 87 Sudanese civilians were buried in a mass grave in Sudan’s West Darfur state, the UN human rights office (OHCHR) said on Thursday.
“The bodies of at least 87 ethnic Masalit and others allegedly killed last month by Rapid Support Forces and their allied militia in West Darfur have been buried in a mass grave outside the region’s capital El-Geneina on the orders of the Rapid Support Forces,” OHCHR said in a statement.
The UN rights office said, citing sources, that 37 bodies were buried on June 20 in a one-metre-deep mass grave in Al-Turab Al Ahmar area in western El-Geneina.
“Another 50 bodies were buried at the same site on 21 June,” the OHCHR added.
“The bodies of seven women and seven children were among those buried,” the statement said.
For his part, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk condemned in the strongest terms “the killing of civilians and hors de combat individuals.”
“I am further appalled by the callous and disrespectful way the dead, along with their families and communities, were treated,” Turk said.
“There must be a prompt, thorough and independent investigation into the killings, and those responsible must be held to account,” he added.
There was no comment yet from the RSF paramilitary group on the accusation.
Sudan has been ravaged by clashes between the army and the RSF since April, in a conflict that killed nearly 3,000 civilians and injured thousands, according to local medics.
Several cease-fire agreements brokered by Saudi and US mediators between the warring rivals had failed to end violence in the country.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates that nearly three million people have been displaced by the current conflict in Sudan.
Last week, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that the ongoing conflict in Sudan may lead to a full-scale civil war.