Human Rights Watch urges International Criminal Court to investigate war crimes in Sudan’s Darfur region.

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Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate possible war crimes in Sudan’s Darfur region, where fighting has intensified despite calls for an end to the conflict. HRW accuses the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and allied Arab militias of summarily executing at least 28 members of the Massalit ethnic minority during an attack on the town of Misterei in May. Efforts to broker an end to the violence continue, with the east African regional bloc IGAD leading a renewed push for an unconditional ceasefire.

Sudanese army boycotts peace gathering, airstrikes hit Khartoum

Despite international efforts, including the recent gathering in Addis Ababa led by IGAD, the Sudanese army boycotted the meeting, dampening hopes for an end to the conflict with the RSF. Air strikes once again shook the capital city of Khartoum, causing residents to seek shelter from gunfire. Experts believe that army leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and RSF commander Mohamed Hamdan Daglo have opted for a war of attrition in the hopes of gaining more concessions at the negotiating table.

US ambassador calls for negotiated exit from crisis

US ambassador John Godfrey warns that a military victory by either side in the Sudan conflict would result in an unacceptable human cost and damage to the country. Instead, he advocates for a negotiated exit from the crisis, emphasizing that a return to the pre-conflict status quo is not a viable solution. Godfrey criticizes calls for continued fighting and highlights the devastating deaths caused by recent airstrikes in Khartoum North and Omdurman.

Calls for humanitarian passages and deployment of African Union force

IGAD has called for the African Union to consider deploying the East Africa Standby Force in Sudan to protect civilians and ensure humanitarian access. However, the conflict has seen multiple ceasefires violated, which may pose challenges to such a deployment. Kenyan President William Ruto, leading the IGAD quartet, reiterates calls for humanitarian passages, but Sudan’s foreign ministry objects to his leadership, accusing Nairobi of siding with the RSF.

HRW accuses RSF of war crimes

The RSF paramilitaries, which have been accused of various abuses, including potential crimes against humanity, are accused by HRW of committing war crimes in Misterei. During their attack, the RSF fighters burned the town and summarily executed at least 28 ethnic Massalit people, according to witnesses cited by HRW. The watchdog organization calls for the ICC to investigate the attack, which it claims amounts to war crimes. The ICC is already investigating war crimes committed in Darfur during the conflict that began in 2003. The recent fighting has resulted in the displacement of around 230,000 people to neighboring Chad, where high rates of malnutrition among children have been reported.

SOURCE: Ref Image from Al Jazeera

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