The United Nations (UN) has issued a grave warning of escalating human rights violations in Sudan’s Darfur region, characterizing the situation as “verging on pure evil.” The stark announcement comes seven months into the conflict between the Sudanese army and paramilitaries, raising concerns about a potential repeat of the early 2000s genocide in western Sudan.
Clementine Nkweta-Salami, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Sudan, expressed the severity of the situation, stating, “We keep saying that the situation is horrific and grim. But frankly, we are running out of words to describe the horror of what is happening in Sudan.” She continued to highlight the disturbing reports of sexual and gender-based violence, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detentions, and grave violations of human and children’s rights, including shocking incidents of young girls being raped in front of their mothers.
The UN official expressed deep concern about the possibility of a recurrence of the genocide that plagued the region in the early 2000s. The conflict, ongoing since April, involves forces loyal to army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan pitted against the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) led by his former deputy, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo.
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) shed light on the alarming situation in Ardamata, West Darfur, an area previously less affected by the conflict. Reports indicate that over 800 people have been killed by armed groups in this region. William Spindler, UNHCR spokesman, revealed that refugees fleeing Darfur have reported armed militias going from house to house, brutally killing men and boys. These atrocities are reported to have occurred in the last few days.
Of particular concern is the destruction in Ardamata, which houses a camp for internally displaced persons within Sudan. UNHCR disclosed that nearly 100 shelters in the camp have been razed to the ground, compounding the humanitarian crisis.