Sudan’s paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) are ousting the army from military bases across the western Darfur region, leading to fears the country will be split in a similar way to neighboring Libya, which is ruled by rival governments. Even as the RSF has engaged in talks with the army in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah, the group has launched attacks on the capitals of three of Darfur’s five states, leading to mass displacement and large civilian casualties. Last month, it took full control over Nyala and Zalingei (the capitals of South Darfur and Central Darfur), while last week it seized the main army base in West Darfur’s El Geneina. Over 1,000 people from the Masalit ethnic group were reportedly killed by RSF and allied militia fighters during the West Darfur takeover, which may amount to the worst civilian atrocity since Sudan’s current war erupted on April 15. RSF leaders are now threatening to seize El Fasher in North Darfur, which has been a safe haven in recent months, and has attracted hundreds of thousands of displaced people.
From The New Humanitarian, Nov. 10