The request comes as a result of a massacre back in May against an ethnic minority in Darfur.
The International Criminal Court was called on by Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Tuesday to launch an investigation into possible “war crimes” in the Darfur region in Sudan where conflict continues to escalate.
The HRW referred to a massacre where at least 28 members of the Massalit ethnic minority were killed summarily after ransacking and burning down much of the town of Misterei back in May.
Efforts were made by the East African regional bloc IGAD on Monday to end the conflict, calling on the involved parties to “sign an unconditional ceasefire.” However, the Sudanese army boycotted the gathering in Addis Ababa.
RSF commander Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo did not attend the Addis Ababa talks in person, but the RSF sent a representative to the meeting, which was attended by Kenya, South Sudan, Djibouti, and Ethiopia. The quartet issued a communique, deploring “the regrettable absence of the delegation of the Sudanese Armed Forces in spite of the invitation and confirmation of attendance.”
US ambassador John Godfrey warned that “a military ‘victory’ by either of the belligerents in the Sudan conflict would entail unacceptable human cost and damage to the country”. Godfrey was evacuated from the region when the conflict broke out alongside other diplomats.
He requested instead “a negotiated exit from the crisis,” which he stated, “does not — and cannot — mean returning to the status quo that existed before April 15.”
Godfrey further condemned “irresponsible” calls for the continuous fighting, referring to the “horrific deaths by air strike of at least six people” in Khartoum on Monday and of “at least 22 people on Friday in Omdurman.”
Kenya’s request blocked
Molly Phee, US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, was expected to convene with regional and Sudanese officials on Tuesday in Addis Ababa, while IGAD said it would request the African Union to consider deploying the East Africa Standby Force in Sudan “for the protection of civilians and … humanitarian access.”
Kenyan President William Ruto, who heads the IGAD section tasked with solving the Sudan conflict, reiterated calls for humanitarian passages on Monday, but these calls were in vain since Sudan’s Foreign Ministry continues to object to his leadership of the section by accusing Kenya of siding with the RSF.
According to the HRW, dozens were killed and injured when “several thousand” RSF fighters attacked Misterei in Darfur, which added that they launched the attack “on motorcycles, horses or pickup trucks” and caused the “near total burning of the town” of 46,000 residents.
Armed members of the Massalit, one of the important non-Arab communities in Darfur, retaliated through a clash with the RSF. Witnesses told HRW that civilians were “executed” in schools and mosques where they looked for shelter.
The violations “amount to war crimes” as per HRW, and war crimes in Darfur are already being looked into by The Hague.