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Sudan: at least 87 bodies in a mass grave in Darfur

Sudan: at least 87 bodies in a mass grave in Darfur
Residents dig a mass grave for the victims of an attack that killed more than   -  
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Mustafa Younes/Mustafa Younes


The bodies of at least 87 people believed to have been killed last month in Sudan by paramilitary forces and their allies have been buried in a mass grave in Darfur, the UN said on Thursday.

According to credible information gathered by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, these people were killed between 13 and 21 June in the districts of Al-Madaress and Al-Jamarek in El-Geneina, the capital of the country. State of West Darfur.

Among those killed are members of the Masalit tribe, according to the UN statement.

The conflict in Sudan has pitted the army, led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane, against the paramilitaries of the Rapid Support Forces (FSR) of General Mohamed Hamdane Daglo since April 15.

Formerly allies, the two generals are now vying for power and seem determined to obtain it by force. It was on the orders of the paramilitaries that the local population was forced to deposit the bodies in the mass grave, indicates the UN.

High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk "condemns in the strongest terms the killing of civilians and non-combatants" and says he is "appalled" by the lack of respect given to the dead, their families, and communities.

He calls for "a rapid, thorough and independent investigation" and that those responsible be brought to justice.

According to the UN, those killed include "many victims of the violence that followed the assassination of the governor of West Darfur, Khamis Abdullah Abakar, on June 14, shortly after he was arrested by the RSF ".

After the violence, many bodies were left in the streets for several days, and witnesses told the High Commission that the injured were not allowed to be evacuated to hospitals. Some people died because they could not be treated.

The High Commissioner asks the paramilitaries to "protect the dignity" of the dead and to list - or allow aid workers to do so - all the information available to them to identify them and return their remains to their families.

He also calls on the leaders of the paramilitaries "to put an end to violence and hate speech against people on the basis of their ethnicity".

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