A Janjaweed spin-off makes inroads in Sudan: Report

Ten years ago the UN Security Council mandated the dreaded Janjaweed militia be disarmed. They never really were.                                                                  

Stephanie Hancock/Reuters/File
Refugees prepare to board UN humanitarian trucks at the Chad-Sudan border, which will drive them to refugee camps further inside Chad, March 6, 2008. Between 10,000 and 20,000 Darfuri refugees have poured into Birak since Sudan's army and its Janjaweed militia allies launched what they called a 'cleansing' operation to try to dislodge insurgents from Jebel Moon in West Darfur.

A version of this post originally appeared on Enough Project. The views expressed are the author's own. 

The first six months of 2014 have brought devastating death and destruction in Sudan, on par with the height of the genocide in Darfur from 2003-2005.

Despite the United Nations Security Council mandating that the Sudanese government disarm its Janjaweed militias a decade ago, it never did. Now, as the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor says, a new iteration of the Janjaweed have taken the country by storm.

A new report by the Enough Project and Satellite Sentinel Project, “Janjaweed Reincarnate: Sudan's New Army of War Criminals,” traces the movements of these fighters -- newly trained, heavily armed, and re-branded as “Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

Akshaya Kumar, Enough Project Sudan and South Sudan Analyst and co-author of the report says,

"In Sudan today, the genocidaires are winning. 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.”

The report is the product of nine months of Enough Project and Satellite Sentinel Project research which traces the movements of the RSF across Sudan and exposes the civilian targeting that has become the hallmark of their activities.

By connecting the Sudanese government’s own public statements with evidence from affected communities, the report lays out 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.

Read the full report Janjaweed Reincarnate by Akshaya Kumar and Omer Ismail (PDF)

Read the Activist Brief (PDF)      

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