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Blinken says RSF members in Sudan have committed crimes against humanity & ethnic cleansing

Members of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and its allied militias in Sudan have committed crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has assessed.

Blinken also determined that members of the RSF and the Sudanese Armed Forces have committed war crimes, he said in a statement Wednesday.

The determination was made months after massive violence between the two armies in April. The assessment of the crimes was “based on the State Department’s careful analysis of the law and available facts.”

The determination does not immediately bear any consequences for the members who have committed the crimes. Blinken noted that “today’s determination does not preclude the possibility of future determinations as additional information about the parties’ actions becomes available.”

“This determination provides force and renewed urgency to African and international efforts to end the violence, address the humanitarian and human rights crisis, and work towards meaningful justice for victims and the affected communities that ends decades of impunity,” he said.

“Civilians have borne the brunt of this needless conflict. Detainees have been abused and some killed at SAF and RSF detention sites. Across Sudan, the RSF and allied militias have terrorized women and girls through sexual violence, attacking them in their homes, kidnapping them from the streets, or targeting those trying to flee to safety across the border,” Blinken said.

“In haunting echoes of the genocide that began almost 20 years ago in Darfur, we have seen an explosion of targeted violence against some of the same survivors’ communities,” he continued. “Masalit civilians have been hunted down and left for dead in the streets, their homes set on fire, and told that there is no place in Sudan for them.”

The top US diplomat called on the RSF and SAF to “stop this conflict now, comply with their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law, and hold accountable those responsible for atrocities.”

“They also must adhere to the commitments they made to allow unhindered humanitarian assistance and implement confidence building measures that can lead to a sustainable cessation of hostilities,” he said. “Arms and funding flowing to the warring parties only prolong a conflict that has no acceptable military solution.”

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