Reports say people have fled West Darfur in recent weeks amid an uptick in ethnically-driven killings by militias.
Women at an IDP camp in Chad were seen crying as they mourned family members they say were killed by RSF forces and Arab militias, who have targeted the Masalit ethnic group in Sudan. (Reuters.)
JOHANNESBURG — A minimum of 5.6 million people have been driven from their homes, a further 25 million need aid and some 9,000 have been killed in Sudan since the latest conflict began earlier this year, according to the U.N. The situation gets worse daily, with increasing credible reports of ethnically based attacks and rape of women and children.
Yet Sudan is literally the forgotten war.
“An Arab paramilitary group is carrying out a genocide in Sudan with mass killings of minorities and corpses spread across streets,” Richard Goldberg, of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told Fox News Digital.
There’s little media coverage, and relief agencies battle to get into the world’s spotlight so they can supplement funds, which at the same time are diminishing.
The World Food Program (WFP) has delivered food to over 3 million people in Sudan “in very difficult circumstances” since the start of the conflict. A WFP spokesperson told Fox News Digital, “Our humanitarian dollar is being stretched to the breaking point. Across the board, the gulf between humanitarian needs and funding available to respond has grown steadily.”
UN APPROVES INVESTIGATION MISSION FOR SUDAN’S ONGOING CONFLICT AND HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES
Women from El Geneina, West Darfur, weep after receiving news of their missing relatives in Ardamata, as they waited for them in Adre, Chad, on Nov. 7. Ardamata was the latest site of an ethnic purge led by the RSF and allied Arab militias against the ethnic African Masalit tribe. (REUTERS/El Tayeb Siddig )
Upwards of 6 million people have been ripped from their homes — but reportedly not even 600 have demonstrated against the atrocities in Sudan. Goldberg, who was also a member of former President Donald Trump’s National Security Council, pointed out this contrast with the massive protests engulfing Europe and parts of the U.S. over the war in Gaza.
“There’s no mob outside the White House to stop the indiscriminate killing of thousands in Sudan,” said Goldberg. “These extremists only seem to get agitated by Jews who lawfully defend themselves from further mass slaughter,” he said.
PRO-PALESTINIAN RALLIES IN NYC AND DC INTERRUPT CROWDED HUBS DURING RUSH-HOUR COMMUTE
Protesters gather during a pro-Palestinian demonstration in front of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 4. (Nathan Howard/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
This “bloodshed and terror,” as U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths described it, broke out April 15 between the government’s Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the groups of militia known as the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
A State Department spokesperson told Fox News Digital, “The United States is deeply concerned and appalled by the escalating violence and human rights abuses in Sudan, especially attacks by the Rapid Support Forces in West, Central and South Darfur.
MALI: ‘AFRICA’S AFGHANISTAN’ SEES FRANCE WITHDRAW TROOPS AND TERROR GROUPS RUN AMOK
Protesters hold placards during a pro-Palestinian protest in London on Nov. 11. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)
“These have included — according to credible reports — mass killings, including ethnic targeting of non-Arab and other communities, killings of traditional leaders, unjust detentions, and obstruction of humanitarian aid.”
Sources on the ground, backed up by satellite imagery, tell of RSF militia in some cases going house to house in villages, killing every man they see.
“We are disturbed by the reports of Rapid Support Forces (RSF) members massacring members of the Masalit community in Ardamata,” added the State Department spokesperson. “These actions are sickening and once again highlight the RSF’s history of brutality in areas under their control.”
The Masalits are predominately Sunni Muslims.
Families escaping Ardamata in West Darfur cross into Adre, Chad, after a wave of ethnic violence on Nov. 7. Survivors recounted executions and looting in Ardamata, which they said were carried out by RSF and allied Arab militias. (REUTERS/El Tayeb Siddig )
Traumatizing rape is common here. Fox News Digital obtained this first-hand report from a 21-year-old woman who was with her 10-year-old sister in Darfur when snatched by RSF militia: “Two of them took turns on me while the third one assaulted my sister.” The assault took nearly three hours, and after the young child couldn’t walk because of the pain.
“The situation throughout Sudan is catastrophic, with massive destruction, death, and what may be the largest humanitarian crisis in the world,” Sudan researcher Eric Reeves told Fox News Digital. Reeves is so versed on the subject that he has given congressional testimony.
ESCALATING CONFLICT IN SUDAN HAS PUSHED OVER 4 MILLION PEOPLE FROM THEIR HOMES, ACCORDING TO UN OFFICIAL
Women from El Geneina, West Darfur, gather near the border crossing in Adre, Chad, on Nov. 7 as they await news of their missing relatives. The women fled ethnic violence in the El Geneina district of Ardamata where they said they were attacked by RSF and Arab militia forces. (REUTERS/El Tayeb Siddig)
“The RSF in particular is wildly undisciplined and violently out of control. They are the worst sort of barbarians,” he added.
“There is no acceptable military solution to the conflict,” the State Department spokesperson told Fox News Digital. “The Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) need to deescalate and engage in meaningful discussions that lead to a cease-fire and unhindered humanitarian access.”
The U.S. officially welcomed the recent resumption of talks in Jeddah, co-facilitated by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the U.S. and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and has called “for the parties to immediately end the fighting in Sudan and for the SAF and RSF to silence the guns.”
Reeves says neither warring side can be trusted to abide by any agreement signed, and that “talks in Jeddah have proved fruitless.”
UN SPECIAL ENVOY FOR SUDAN RESIGNS, WARNS OF POTENTIAL ‘FULL-SCALE CIVIL WAR’
Smoke is seen in Khartoum, Sudan, on April 22. (AP Photo/Marwan Ali)
Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho., and Rep. Michael McCaul., R-Texas, felt so strongly over the issue they issued a joint statement last week. “The Biden administration’s efforts regarding Sudan in Jeddah have repeatedly failed,” they wrote.
Risch is ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and McCaul is Chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee. Their statement continued: “As the United States claims success in Jeddah, more innocent Sudanese perish. The war in Sudan is an unrelenting horror that further proves the United States needs to change its strategy on Sudan.”
Africa analyst Cameron Hudson also took no prisoners over the U.S. position on Sudan: “There is no circumstance under which you could argue that the Biden administration is doing enough to either end the conflict in Sudan, or alleviate the suffering in a place like Darfur.”
A wounded man lies in a Doctors Without Borders hospital, where refugees receive treatment after fleeing ethnic violence in Ardamata, West Darfur, in the border town of Adre, Chad, on Nov. 10. (REUTERS/El Tayeb Siddig )
Hudson knows Sudan intimately. He was director of African affairs at the National Security Council during President George W. Bush’s administration, and is now with the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Africa Program. Speaking to Fox News Digital, Hudson said, “The bigger challenge perhaps for Biden is that we know what a strong response to these crimes looks like. The Bush administration responded to the same crimes 15 years ago with robust sanctions, high-level diplomacy, led by a special envoy and personal involvement by the president. The current administration has done none of those things.”
Hudson further made a disturbing prophecy: “The ripple effects of this unchecked conflict will be felt from Riyadh to Washington. As things stand now, a genocidal militia group backed by Russia’s Wagner (mercenary) group is on the march to defeat Sudan’s army. That’s an outcome we cannot risk coming true.”
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
Some on Capitol Hill are now making noise, but as Reeves pointed out, the public’s attention is focused elsewhere.
“Violence at present levels could reduce Sudan from a coherent state to a collection of fiefdoms, dominated by warlords recruiting fighters along ethnic lines”, he told Fox News Digital. “All this is obscured by the fixation in the news world on Gaza, which for its part displaced Ukraine as the central foreign policy story. But the collapse of the Sudanese state could create another ‘Somalia’ — but this time in the vast and very center of Africa.”
Paul Tilsley is a veteran correspondent who has reported on African affairs for more than three decades from Johannesburg, South Africa. He can be followed on Twitter @paultilsley