Political Reports

US Ambassador: RSF committed crimes in Darfur

Sudan Events – Follow up

The US ambassador at large for Global Criminal Justice, Beth Van Schaack said media report have shown the detention of thousands of persons in and around Khartoum, some of them being subjected to torture and killing, and war is being waged against the body of women and young girls and they are being exposed to sexual violence by the Rapid Support Forces and its allied militias.
The ambassador has pointed out in a conference she held at the US State Department about war crimes, and war against humanity and genocide that many women have been subjected to violence inside their homes or in the streets some were subjected to individual and some to group rape and the survivals could not receive any social or health care.
The ambassador underlined that the situation in Sudan is really dire, and it’s important that we all remain focused on it. They really deserve our full attention, adding that since April, Sudanese civilians have really borne the brunt of a needless and unconscionable conflict between the Sudanese Armed Forces, the SAF, and the Rapid Support Forces, the RSF.
She added that according to the data we have, at least 10,000 people have been killed and over 6.8 million people have been displaced from their homes. Some remain internally displaced, and some have become refugees across an international border. We have all seen chilling media reports that reflect that thousands of people have been swept into detention sites in and around Khartoum, where we know that some have been tortured and some have been killed.
She said the war has also been waged on the bodies of women and girls who have been terrorized by deliberate, systemic sexual violence inflicted by the RSF and its allied militia forces. They are attacked in their homes; they are kidnapped from the streets; women and girls have been subjected to conflict-related sexual violence including rape, gang rape, and sexual slavery. Survivors are often unable to access any kinds of medical care or psychological support, thus leaving lasting trauma.

She pointed out that in Darfur in particular, reports showed an explosion of violence against civilians along ethnic lines. People are not safe in their homes, in mosques, or in schools. She stressed that her government and organiztions have read numerous, credible reports of RSF and affiliated Arab militias seeking out in particular Masalit people and members of other African communities, hunting for men and boys, shooting people desperately fleeing for their lives, stealing everything of value, and burning the rest.
She pointed out that based upon a careful review of the facts and a legal analysis, the Secretary of State recently determined that members of the Sudanese Armed Forces and the RSF have committed war crimes.
She said he has also determined that members of RSF and their allied militia have committed crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing in Darfur.
She underlined that the Secretary made this determination to bear witness to, and to shine a light on, the abuses suffered by the Sudanese people at the hands of the very forces who are meant to protect them.
“We also hope to rally the international community to help us end the violence, address the humanitarian crisis, and promote justice for survivors and victims. In the State Department and across the U.S. Government, we will continue to track and document the scope and breadth of the belligerents’ myriad crimes.” The ambassador said.
She lamented that for too long in Sudan, perpetrators have killed, raped, and attacked civilians with impunity.
She explained that the atrocities occurring today in Darfur are an ominous reminder of the prior genocide from the early 2000s, in that they involve so many of the same perpetrators, the same communities being targeted, and the same patterns of criminality.
“The United States applauded the recent announcement that alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the current fighting may be subject to investigation and prosecution before the International Criminal Court. The ICC prosecutor’s office has announced that it has commenced focused investigations onto recent events” she announced.
She went further to add that the international community must work together towards meaningful justice for victims and affected communities and bring an end to this long era of impunity.
“And we urge all states to cooperate with this investigation. In this regard, continued documentation will be critical to lay the groundwork for all accountability efforts.” The US diplomat said her country’s government has worked closely with key allies to establish a new Sudan-focused fact-finding mission at the Human Rights Council. This new mechanism will be able to gather evidence of atrocities nationwide and begin to establish responsibility for their commission.
“We have also funded, through our conflict and stabilizations organization, a new Sudan Conflict Observatory that’s based at Yale University. Their reports are made public, and I encourage you to check out their website for their recent reporting. “ Schaack underlined.
The United States will also continue to support Sudanese-led documentation efforts, particularly those that are survivor-centered and trauma-informed.
She added that in terms of the humanitarian crisis, the United States remains the largest single donor of humanitarian assistance to the people of Sudan. The American administration is providing nearly $895 million in total humanitarian assistance in Fiscal Year 2023 through USAID, through the Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, and other sources.
She said this funding provides emergency food assistance, protection services, health care, nutrition support, shelter, water, sanitation, and hygiene services, and other forms of relief for millions of people in Sudan and for those who have now fled to neighboring countries. This funding also helps our partners engage in protection efforts, including with respect to gender-based violence prevention and response. It also helps to provide psychosocial support services for the most vulnerable and at-risk populations across the full humanitarian response.
“We are working to end the fighting through diplomatic means with a team of experienced diplomats, working with regional partners like IGAD and the African Union and other intergovernmental institutions to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance, establish ceasefires and other confidence-building measures, and building towards a permanent cessation of hostilities” she revealed addng, that Sudan’s future – political future belongs to the Sudanese people. “They deserve a future that fulfils their aspirations for freedom, peace, and justice. And we’re working with a number of partners to achieve this outcome. “
When asked about whether the U.S. managed to speak to anyone in the UAE – in the United Arab Emirates about their involvement in providing weapons and drones to the RSF, the Us official responded y saying “We have consistently spoken to a number of regional partners about the importance of not providing weapons or other materiel to either party to the conflict. It will only lead to the escalation. We need to be moving towards peace, not providing materiel that will enable this conflict to continue. I can’t speak to particular conversations – obviously those are happening on a confidential basis – but rest assured that we’re very focused on that. “

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