Satellite Sentinel Project (Washington, DC)

26 June 2014

Sudan Unleashes a War Criminal Army

press release

Regime Gives Janjaweed Genocidaires New Name, Weapons, and a License to Kill

One decade after Darfur's Janjaweed militiamen earned global infamy as "devils on horseback," Sudan is experiencing a wave of atrocities at the hands of their new incarnation as an official military entity, the "Rapid Support Forces" (RSF). An original report published today by the Enough Project and the Satellite Sentinel Project tracks the RSF in a cross-country campaign of civilian targeting, and presents the case for the individual criminal responsibility of high-level Sudanese government officials for both the war crimes and crimes against humanity perpetrated by the RSF.

The report, "Janjaweed Reincarnate: Sudan's New Army of War Criminals" - the product of nine months of research by co-authors Akshaya Kumar and Omer Ismail-tracks the RSF across Sudan, connects the regime's own public statements with evidence from affected communities, and identifies an array of crimes from grave human rights abuses and mass atrocities to cross-border elephant poaching.

Click here for a preview of the report from the New York Times, including a response from the Sudanese Embassy in Washington, DC.

"In Sudan today, the genocidaires are winning," says Akshaya Kumar, report co-author and Sudan and South Sudan Policy Analyst at the Enough Project. "A decade ago, Janjaweed fighters received international condemnation for their brutality in Darfur. While the world's attention has drifted, these men are still at large and committing human rights abuses. Now, as Sudan's Rapid Support Forces, they are heavily armed, in uniform, flying the national flag, and with an official license to kill."

"Darfuris aren't the only victims now. Our research shows that these Rapid Support Forces, under command and control of the government, have inflicted brutal violence on civilians in South Kordofan, North Kordofan, even in Sudan's capital city Khartoum," said Omer Ismail, co-author and Enough Project Senior Advisor. "As security service officers they boast full immunity. The RSF are indisputably an arm of this government and so senior government officials, including President Bashir, should bear responsibility for their actions."

"Our research fuses nine months of satellite imagery with extensive research and interviews to paint a vivid portrait of an increasingly brazen, resurgent and reinforced Janjaweed force," said John Prendergast, co-founder of the Enough Project. "What we see is a new kind of international and regional security threat, a military force that not only regularly commits atrocities and abuses against the citizenry, but up to their necks in transnational criminal activity, including cross-border human rights abuses, elephant poaching, and resource exploitation."

"Sudan's government are so confident they will get away with this new campaign that they're not even bothering to hide their connections to these fighters," added Kumar. "In fact, the Sudanese government proclaims their connection to this army of war criminals."

Link to download the new report "Janjaweed Reincarnate": http://eno.ug/Jreport

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