RSF Weaponizing Starvation in Sudan Together to stop the impunity of the apartheid militia

By: Mohammed Ahmed Adam
The whole world must have seen-with heavy hearts-how a number of western States, notably the United States and the United Kingdom, turned a deaf ear to the mounting appeals to by international rights and humanitarian organizations, to exert maximum pressure to force Israel, to put an immediate end to the use of starvation as a weapon of war against civilians in Gaza ( one of the manifestations of genocide) and equally, to impunity for violations of international humanitarian law and human rights abuses.

In parallel, but in a relatively far distance, from photographers’ lenses and the attention international media, busily covering hot events in Gaza, series of genocides were truly in the making in Sudan. Weaponizing of starvation, of no less horrific scale than the one currently exercised in Gaza, has been relentlessly perpetrated by the RSF apartheid militia in Sudan, behind which, hide a lot of scrambling and machination.

Apparently, the degree of brutality and sadism shown by the members of RSF, backed by rampaging mercenaries against the helpless civilians in Sudan, demonstrates two facts; they are on one hand, just an iceberg of a deeper project, that necessarily has nothing to do with the slogans of democracy, they do awkwardly raise, to justify their war. On the other hand, just like the Israelis, they fear no accountability or punishment, perhaps heavily relying on a regional and international force, from behind the curtain, capable of ensuring them justifications and impunity, whenever necessary.

Make no mistake, the apartheid militia uses premeditated starvation of civilians and obstruction of humanitarian access, as a war tactic, to effect another horrific crime in Sudan; the systematic demographic change — as shall be dealt with later – However, the international vulnerability and helplessness, which continue to prevail; was enough to grant the RSF militia, though already been classified, as a perpetrator of gross international crimes, amounting to genocide and ethnic cleansing in Sudan, a blank check to continue exhibiting contempt for the rules of the international system, in the absence of a prompt punishment mechanisms, capable of deterring such violations.

According to United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), RSF militia has repeatedly attacked and looted aid supplies and humanitarian infrastructure notably warehouses, such as the stocks in a World Food Program (WFP) warehouse in Al-Gezira state in December 2023. supplies that could have fed 1.5 million acutely food-insecure people for one whole month,” Besides looting food supplies destined for displaced person’s camps in Darfur, including aid supplies including food items for malnourished children from residents of an IDP camp in central Darfur.

In March 2023, the notorious militia detained UNICEF trucks carrying food and pharmaceutical assistance, en route to the states of Southern, Northern and Eastern Darfur, to contain the food and health crisis in IDP’s camps, especially in light of widespread malnutrition among children. These attacks were repeated by the militia, in an attempt to prevent relief from reaching those in need in the camps, for the purpose of starving them. Besides, disrupting the tracks, agreed upon with the Government of the Sudan.

The rebel militia is equally responsible for starving citizens, not only in the areas affected by the battles, as the above CNN report indicates, but even in the safe states, by closing roads and looting aid convoys and trucks, carrying goods and supplies, which led to the cessation of trade and the impossibility of obtaining food.

An investigation conducted by the American CNN news network revealed, according to eyewitnesses in the year 2023, that the rebel militia in the Al-Gezira state in central Sudan continued to force citizens, men and boys, to join its forces by weaponing starvation and withholding of food and supplies: Join the militia or starve to death.

Currently, in the besieged city of El Fasher, the militia has been seeking to cut off the supply of maize and millet (staple food) into the city, with completely no regard for the spectre of famine, which threatens the lives of millions of civilians trapped in combat zones. By all accounts, RSR weaponizing starvation, has increasingly become the militia’s modus operandi, extended to all areas under the militia’s control, whether in Al Gezira, Darfur or Kordofan.

Adding insult to injury, the intensification of the military battles between the Sudanese army and the militia around El Fisher, and the indiscriminate fall artillery shells, has forced 60% of the already displaced persons in the Abu-shuk camp for instance, to further flee for their lives, especially after the terrorist militia, overran their camp, firing indiscriminately and intensively; assaulting the displaced persons, by whipping and robbing their property and money.

Recently in Nuba Mountains, the apartheid militia, meanwhile, has been madly indulged in systematic ethnic-based killings, mass rape and abduction of girls and women, burning of villages and crops, looting of livestock and the deliberate disruption of the agricultural season. In brief, what is taking place in the Two Regions and the rest of RSF’s occupied areas, is a systematic policy of deliberate starvation and forced evictions, for the defenseless civilians, away from their villages and cities, in clear violations of Sudanese criminal law and international human rights treaties and conventions.

The League of Arab States could no longer lag behind, in its latest summit at the Presidents’ Level, held in Bahrain, few days ago, it emphasized that any external support, whether political or Financial, in addition to supply of arms or recruits, to irregular rebel militias, operating in parallel with the regular armed forces within the Sudan, is considered – in accordance with Arab League’s own resolutions counter-terrorism resolutions, as an actual support for terrorism that must be stopped immediately.

By all means, the most unequivocal testimony to that effect, has been made by the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Alice Wairimu Ndreto, in which she confirmed, that the current situation in the Sudan bore all signs of the threat of genocide. She Added that civilians – still far from protection- who are targeted in El-Fashir, Darfur, are attacked and killed because of their skin color, race and identity, with widespread hate speech and direct incitement to violence.

She further added that violence “continues against certain groups in the circle of fueling violence, and we see explicitly, unquestionable signs of intent to destroy certain groups — in whole or in part”.

In the same vein, Ndrito deplored the “weak reaction with regard to genocide by the international community, which reduces any progress that has been made collectively to prevent the most serious crimes”, stressing that it is necessary to implement all possible measures aimed at protecting the innocent civilian population in El Fasher, throughout the territory of the Sudan, and to stop the ethnic motivations of violence.

Likewise, she called for the delivery of humanitarian assistance to those in need, the opening of safe corridors for civilians wishing to flee El Fasher, as well as “ensuring accountability for war crimes, bringing perpetrators to the competent (special)courts with jurisdiction and holding them accountable in order to break the cycle of impunity and violence”

Pursuant to the UN Official’s statements above, it becomes obvious, the obligation to prevent genocide must not rest solely with this militia; a fundamental principle enshrined in the Genocide Convention, which imposes legal obligations on all States to prevent and punish acts of genocide and to protect individuals and groups from similar atrocities. In other words, third-party States must exert their influence to ensure compliance by this terrorist militia, and States that support them politically, financially or militarily are also responsible, either for failing to prevent genocide or collusion.

Silence is no longer an option for Western Governments. The time has come to translate words into actions, in order to protect the lives of unarmed Sudanese civilians under international law. Mere hypocritical appeals to such criminals, to allow access to those affected by the conflict, or even imposing ineffective nominal sanctions, symbolically targeting some of their field commanders, shall not exonerate some of these Western States, from their complicity in the ongoing genocide. Act now before it’s too late.

In pursuance of the above appeal, let’s recall that, it took France full 27 years, to officially confess its guilt in the genocide, in which 800.000 Rwandese were killed. Equally, humanity had to wait for a similar 27 years, for the Netherlands, to apologize for the failure of the Dutch forces working with the United Nations, to prevent the genocide in Srebrenica, where ethnic Serb forces killed about eight thousand Muslim men and boys, in what was widely considered, as the worst genocide in Europe’s history, since the end of World War II.

In fact, Germany was no exception, only in 2021 and after 113 years, Germany officially admitted and apologized for the brutal genocide and war-crimes committed by its forces in Namibia during the colonial era, widely known as the first genocide of the 20th century.

on the equal footing of the African nations mentioned above, one has the right to ask, for how many decades, the innocent and defenseless people of the Sudan, are doomed to wait for a similar apology? In other words, how many further innocent Sudanese causalities, have to fall and perish, before the families of the victims in the Sudan, secure similar official confessions; from wrongdoers’ role in (deliberately) failing to take prompt action, for preventing these horrific crimes? Time is yet to tell.

Back to top button