Sudan: West Darfur Resistance Committees - 'Misterei Massacre Was Genocide'

Combined government forces on the road to El Borsa in the east of El Fasher

Misterei — Members of Resistance Committees active in the neighbourhoods in West Darfur condemn the deadly attack on Misterei on Saturday morning, saying it "amounts to genocide".

Representatives of the committees reported yesterday that 68 people were killed, and 84 were wounded during the attack, although exact numbers of dead and injured vary depending on source.

A third of the town was burned to the ground. Thousands of people fled to the state capital El Geneina, thousands of others to neighbouring Chad.

During their participation in the Khartoum University's State Building Forum yesterday, the West Darfur activists stated that the Misterei massacre was preceded by attacks on sit-ins in Misterei, Beida, and El Geneina, without intervention of the authorities.

They hold the former regime responsibility for the violence: "The militiamen* who were wreaking havoc in the area during the reign of Omar Al Bashir are the same men who attacked Misterei and other places in the area."

They blame the West Darfur government, the Sovereign Council and the Cabinet for not heeding warnings from the people about an imminent attack on the sit-in of Misterei more than two weeks ago. On July 17, a group of gunmen raided the protest vigil, wounding 17 protesters, two of whom later died of their wounds.

They pointed to attacks on a number of villages near Misterei in conjunction with the massacre. Members of Resistance Committees in Beida do not dare to leave their homes anymore, they say.

The activists demanded that the federal government intervene as soon as possible and issued an urgent appeal to the United Nations and local and regional organisations.

The West Darfur Doctors Committee, who recorded 51 dead men and nine dead women, listing each one by name, appealed to people in the area to donate blood for the wounded of Misterei.

*Officially, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) militia, set up by the ousted Al Bashir regime in 2013, was integrated into the Sudan Armed Forces in August last year, however, the militia remains a force unto itself, commanded by Mohamed Hamdan 'Hemeti', who also is Deputy President of Sudan's Sovereign Council.

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