Massacre: Children ‘Piled up and Shot’


( – In a disturbing new testimony, one of the most horrific incidents of the year-long Sudanese civil war has been exposed: a massive slaughter of civilians as they desperately sought to escape ethnic violence in Darfur last summer.

Witnesses recounted scenes where children were ruthlessly “piled up and shot” by the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) while attempting to flee the regional capital of El Geneina in June of the previous year. This episode of ethnic violence resulted in the deaths of thousands of civilians.

Gathered from 221 witness statements, Human Rights Watch (HRW) presented compelling evidence, which indicated that the Arab-led RSF had spearheaded a systematic 12-month campaign of ethnic cleansing against Sudan’s non-Arab Masalit tribe in West Darfur.

Moreover, Human Rights Watch urged the United Nations and the African Union to swiftly implement an arms embargo on Sudan and deploy a mission equipped with a robust police force to safeguard civilians in Darfur, the vast western region of the country.

In a recent report, HRW called for sanctions against those primarily responsible for widespread war crimes, including West Darfur RSF commander Abdel Rahman Joma’a Barakallah, as well as RSF commander Mohamed “Hemedti” Hamdan Dagalo and his brother Abdel Raheem.

Since clashes erupted between the RSF and Sudan’s military in April 2023, over 8 million people have fled their homes amidst a humanitarian crisis described by the UN as one of the most significant in decades.

El Fasher, the current epicenter, stood as the last stronghold held by Sudan’s military in Darfur. With the city surrounded by the RSF, diplomats feared it stood on the brink of a large-scale massacre.

Tirana Hassan, Human Rights Watch’s executive director, emphasized the urgent need for action, stating, “The large-scale atrocities committed in El Geneina should be seen as a reminder of the atrocities that could come in the absence of concerted action.”

Witnesses recount how the RSF pursued, rounded up, and indiscriminately shot men, women, and children who fled through streets or attempted to cross the fast-flowing Kaja River. Many perished by drowning.

A 17-year-old survivor recounted the horrifying killing of 12 children and five adults on June 15, describing how RSF forces separated children from their parents, shot the parents, and then executed the children, tossing their bodies into the river along with their belongings.

Copyright 2024,