Political Reports

Similar Scenes That Evening

Agencies – Sudan Events 

Many people fled the town after dark. On the road, they passed through RSF checkpoints and had their phones, money and other belongings stolen.
At one point, they stopped a crowd of about 200 people, separated the men and women, and made everyone sit down, says Nadia Ahmed, a housewife. RSF gunmen then dragged three young women off a donkey cart and into a patch of nearby trees, where they were raped, Nadia says.
“It was dark, but we could hear the girls screaming,” says Nadia. “It lasted about 30 minutes and then they let us pass.”
Awatif Ibrahim also left that night on the road leading east out of Ardamata. At one point, her group was stopped by RSF and Arab militia, who took about 20 men to one side and shot them, she says. Awatif saw more unarmed men shot after crossing the bridge between Ardamata and El Geneina town.
“There were bodies everywhere,” says Awatif. “We had to step over them as we walked.”
In some places, the RSF prevented people who stayed in Ardamata from burying the bodies, says Yagoub Yahaya, a butcher. He and other volunteers only gained permission to collect the dead on 7 November. They spent several hours loading the rotting remains of their neighbours, about 80 in total, on to two trucks driven by RSF fighters.
“You would find two here, four there. It was all over, mostly teenage boys and some old men,” says Yagoub. In some cases, the dead were scooped up with a bulldozer. Yagoub knew many of them by name. He does not know what the RSF did with the bodies.
Mohamed Hassan, an imam, saw hundreds of bodies “lined up in rows” at the playing field when he went back to Ardamata on 7 November to salvage what was left of his home. He was later told they had been collected from around Ardamata and put there before burial.
They said, ‘We will not leave any educated Masalit alive, we will finish you’
In some cases, the killings took place before 5 November. The previous evening, nearly 50 people were killed on the eastern end of Ardamata’s bridge, after the army base fell to the RSF, according to Ismail Mohamed. Intisar Ahmed said her husband and his brother were killed earlier on 4 November, as they hid among some mango trees on the outskirts of Ardamata.
Mohamed, a student who asked to be identified only by his first name, describes how RSF fighters and Arab militia came to the home of his grandfather, a well-known elder, on 3 November. They shot his grandfather and two other male relatives in front of him.
“They said, ‘We will not leave any educated Masalit alive, we will finish you,’” says Mohamed. Two of his uncles were arrested elsewhere in Ardamata and are still being held by the RSF, he says. They are not alone: more than 1,000 men are being detained at various locations at Ardamata and El Geneina, according to a list compiled by community leaders.
Mohamed escaped his grandfather’s killers by climbing over a wall as they sprayed bullets at him. On the edge of the town, he joined up with other men who were fleeing the fighting. The group was attacked by Arab militia shortly after sunset and again the next morning. “Many people fell down,” Mohamed says.
Mohamed eventually limped alone across the border into Chad. He walked much of the way barefoot because he feared the flip-flopping of his sandals would alert the militiamen.

A month on, he is haunted by nightmares that jolt him awake and leave him gasping for breath. “I remember everything during the night,” he said.

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