Janjaweed Reincarnate: Sudan’s New Army of War Criminals


To breathe new energy into their fraying alliance with the Janjaweed, the Sudanese government offered a second life to one of its long-time clients: Mohammed Hamdan Dagolo, also known as “Hemmeti”…One decade after Darfur’s Janjaweed militiamen earned global infamy as “devils on horseback,” Sudan is experiencing brutal violence at their hands once again. The first six months of 2014 have brought devastating death and destruction on par with any time in recent memory, including the period from 2003 to 2005, which is widely considered the height of the genocide in Darfur. I found the report by Enough Project quite revealing and compulsive Read more


Janjaweed Reincarnate

Sudan’s New Army of War Criminals

By Akshaya Kumar and Omer Ismail June 2014



One decade after Darfur’s Janjaweed militiamen earned global infamy as “devils on
horseback,” Sudan is experiencing brutal violence at their hands once again.1 The
first six months of 2014 have brought devastating death and destruction on par with
any time in recent memory, including the period from 2003 to 2005, which is widely
considered the height of the genocide in Darfur.2 Even Ali al-Za’tari—the usually
reserved U.N. humanitarian coordinator in Sudan—is sounding the alarm. Za’tari
recently warned, “If instability and increasing want continue without adequate
mitigation, [Sudan] will be looking at unprecedented numbers of people in
total crises and need in the rest of the year.”3

The U.N. Security Council mandated that the Sudanese government disarm its
Janjaweed militias a decade ago.4 This never happened.5 Now, many of those same men
are moving across the country on government command, burning civilian areas to the
ground, raping women, and displacing non-Arab civilians from their homes.6 The joint
African Union-U.N. special representative for Darfur, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, has said
that this “new wave of displacements and deliberate emptying of certain areas” bear
eerie similarities to the situation in the region in 2003.7 Unlike the Janjaweed fighters
from the past, however, Sudan is not keeping the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) at arm’s
length. Instead, these fighters boast full government backing and formal immunity
from prosecution due to their new status as members of the National
Intelligence and Security Services (NISS).8

With the advent of the RSF, the Sudanese government’s continued support of
Janjaweed groups has become much more clear. After spending years trying to distance
themselves from these forces of terror,9 the regime is not even bothering to deny their
association with these war criminals anymore.10 In fact, Sudanese diplomats have
thrown their political capital behind the group and boast that they successfully blocked
the U.N. Security Council from issuing a statement criticizing the RSF.11

This report—the product of nine months of Enough Project research and wide
consultation—traces the RSF’s movements across Sudan and exposes the civilian
targeting that has become the hallmark of their activities. By connecting the Sudanese
government’s own public statements embracing the RSF with evidence from affected
communities on the ground, this 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.

Notably, these forces have not restricted their crimes against humanity to South
Kordofan12 and Darfur.13 In fact, their first act was to lethally suppress peaceful
protesters during the September 2013 demonstrations in Khartoum.14 As of late
June 2014, RSF troops were still encircling the capital city.15 Adding a transnational
dimension to their impact, these revitalized Janjaweed fighters have also been linked to
regional criminal looting and poaching networks in the Central African Republic and
the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.16 The Janjaweed emerged
in the period between 2003 and 2005 as a sub-regional problem within Sudan’s Darfur
region. They now threaten both peace and stability in an arc extending
across the Sahel and Central Africa.

The same war criminals, new weapons,
and formal guarantees of impunity

To breathe new energy into their fraying alliance
with the Janjaweed, the Sudanese government
offered a second life to one of its longtime clients:
Mohammed Hamdan Dagolo, also known as
“Hemmeti.”17 In exchange for recruiting a new
force of 6,000 men, the militia commander was
promoted to the rank of brigadier general within
the NISS and given state-issued identification
cards to sell to recruits.18 These cards entitle
bearers to legal immunity under Sudan’s 2010
National Security Services Act and confer financial
benefits from the state.19 In a May 2014 televised
statement, the RSF’s Khartoum based commander
Maj. Gen. Abbas Abdul-Aziz publicly confirmed
that a majority of the members in the force “are
Darfurians” recruited by Hemmeti.20 Since then,
the Sudanese government has announced the
creation of a new RSF-2, allegedly mostly
composed of recruits from South Kordofan.21

Under Hemmeti’s command, many original Janjaweed commanders have become
officers in the RSF. Today’s fighters, however, are operating under vastly different
circumstances from those under which the rag-tag militias
that conducted the first wave of the Sudanese government’s
genocidal campaign operated. Three significant changes
are evident. First, these forces are better equipped. They
also come under central command and are fully integrated
into the state’s security apparatus. Second, they have legal
immunity under Sudanese law from prosecution for any
acts committed in the course of duty. Finally, although they
were recruited in Darfur, the troops have been deployed
around the country at the command of the Sudanese
government. These forces also play a role in broader
transnational criminal looting and poaching networks,
adding a regional dynamic to their activities.

Complete integration

Today’s RSF fighters are far better equipped; they come under central command and
are more fully integrated than the Janjaweed militias that the world came to fear in
2003. The newly launched army of war criminals is, however, engaged in the same
type of ethnic cleansing campaign as the waves of fighters who came before them and
fought under the command of militiamen like Musa Hilal22 and International Criminal
Court (ICC) indictee Ali Kushayb.23

The Sudanese government has previously completely
denied association with the Janjaweed militia forces.24
For their part, the feared Janjaweed fighters were difficult
to engage, making it hard to challenge the government’s
assertions. An Australian Broadcasting Corporation
documentary sought out members of Janjaweed forces
in 2006 to hear their side of the story.25 Seizing the
opportunity to speak to a Western audience, Hemmeti—
who now commands the RSF—proclaimed to the camera
that he was personally recruited by Sudan’s President
Omar al-Bashir to join the fight.26 In the interview,
Hemmeti bragged that President Bashir asked him to
carry out campaigns in northern Darfur during a meeting
in Khartoum in 2003.27 At the time, this admission
was groundbreaking. Up until that point, the Sudanese
government had successfully portrayed these fighters as uncontrollable bandits and
thugs.28 Later, Julie Flint and other researchers spent months with Hemmeti and other
Janjaweed groups, seeking to understand their motivations.29 After a brief rebellion
against the government, Hemmeti told International Crisis Group researchers, “We
just wanted to attract the government’s attention, tell them we’re here, in order to get
our rights: military ranks, political positions, and development in our area.”30

Unlike the first wave of Janjaweed fighters in 2003
through 2005, who were desperate to tell the world
about the state’s endorsement of their actions, this
incarnation of the forces has no need to seek that type
of affirmation. Hemmeti holds the rank of brigadier
general.31 His RSF fighters carry the symbols of the
NISS with them wherever they go. The NISS maintains
a Facebook page that showcases the group’s activities.32
The Sudanese Embassy in Washington, D.C., distributes
a fact sheet about the force.33 Senior RSF commanders
hold public press conferences at government
headquarters to defend their reputations.34

The government fact sheet on the RSF insists that the “RSF operates under disciplined
military system and orderly chain of command. It’s (sic) movements and operations
are fully controlled and governed by military laws and regulations.”35 Following a

public parade in honor of the RSF, Ishraqa Sayed Mahmoud, Sudan’s minister of
human resources development and labor, announced a financial donation to the
RSF, congratulating them on the victories and noting that the “Sudanese people are
appreciative of the sacrifices made by these forces.”36 In late May 2014, the Director
of NISS operations, Maj.-Gen. Ali Al-Nasih al Galla, the director of NISS support and
operations forces, reaffirmed that “more than six thousand [RSF] security personnel
are distributed at petroleum sites, co-deployed with the armed forces at borders and
co-working with police to protect the national capital and other major towns.”37 Since
that time, analysts report that the RSF’s ranks have swelled to at least 10,000 troops,
3,300 of which are stationed in Khartoum.38 The government’s own accounts reference
the creation of a second RSF force specially focused on South Kordofan, raising the
possibility that additional troops operate under the RSF banner.

The newly recruited RSF troops obtained training from Sudan’s NISS and army high
command.39 In early February 2014, Sudan’s opposition Popular Congress Party
reported that at least 5,500 Janjaweed fighters received special training at bases north of
Khartoum.40 Reliable sources confirm that the RSF troops trained with both the NISS
and the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) at the Wadi Seidna and Al Jayli bases north of
Omdurman and Khartoum, respectively.41 According to Hemmeti himself, senior NISS
officials, including former Sudanese Prime Minister al-Sadiq al Mahdi’s son Bushra
al-Sadiq al-Mahdi, were involved in the forces’ training program.42

Once the RSF formally launched, the SAF actually
reassigned its personnel to command the new
forces. SAF Maj. Gen. Abdul-Aziz shares control
over the forces.43 Additionally, Gen. Ali al-Nasih
al-Galla, a senior NISS official, retains overall
control as superior to both Hemmeti and Maj.
Gen. Abdul-Aziz. In mid-May 2014, Gen. al-Galla
evidenced his role as overall commander of the
RSF when he promoted 35 Janjaweed officers
to higher ranks within the RSF fighting force.44
Beyond this, it is difficult to trace command
responsibility. According to Magdi el Gizouli, a fellow at the Rift Valley Institute,
“The chain of command above [Hemmeti] and his men, it follows, is camouflaged
by design to allow the officers at the helm to claim victory when it happens
but avoid culpability for the carnage.”45

RSF commander Hemmeti has been pictured with Sudan’s Minister of Defense,
Abdelrahim Mohamed Hussein, as well as with Ahmed Haroun, one of the original
commanders of the Janjaweed. Both men are wanted by the International Criminal
Court (ICC) for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur.46

Full immunity

As members of the NISS, the RSF carry formal immunity for all actions. Under
Sudan’s 2010 National Security Act, NISS agents are immune from prosecution and
disciplinary action for all acts committed in the course of their work.47 Although
the law does allow for the director of the NISS to waive immunity, this de facto
blanket protection creates a climate of impunity. The Sudanese government fact sheet
maintains that the “RSF includes discipline and control units such as military police,
intelligence and military judiciary.”48 In practice, however, NISS agents are seldom
taken to court, even in instances where they are alleged to have tortured detainees
or committed serious human rights abuses.49 As Gizouli explains, “If the Janjaweed
operated in a zone of legal immunity, [Hemmeti’s] forces constitute the law.”50

In fact, those who have attempted to draw attention to the RSF’s abuses have actually
faced prosecution themselves. Leading opposition figure and former Sudanese Prime
Minister Sadiq al Mahdi was arrested in mid-May 2014 by the NISS at Hemmeti’s
request and charged with libel for daring to criticize the force for its poor human rights
record.51 Al Mahdi’s detention has sparked widespread condemnation52 and street
protests in cities across the country.53 Sadiq al Mahdi’s daughters were also briefly
detained after protesting his prosecution.

For weeks, the Sudanese presidency has refused to drop the case against the opposition
leader.54 Instead, it permitted the imposition of a media blackout on all discussion
around al Mahdi’s detention and prosecution55 When al Mahdi was released, almost
a month later, Sudanese government controlled SUNA carried a statement by his
party leadership stating that they support the country’s armed forces and that what
al-Mahdi mentioned regarding RSF is derived from complaints and claims “that are
not necessarily all true”.56 Ibrahim al-Sheikh, the head of the Sudanese Congress Party,
was arrested on similar charges in early June.57 As of late June 2014, al Sheik had not
been released. Members of his party say that he
remained in detention since, unlike al Mahdi, he
refused to recant his critique of the RSF.58

Within the context of the ongoing stage-managed
national dialogue process,59 these arrests of senior
and influential political figures are particularly
significant. In an atmosphere where the
government has a vested interest in maintaining at
least the superficial impression of a free political
environment, its willingness to make these arrests
shows the RSF’s deep political capital.60 Maj.
Gen. Abdul-Aziz, the Khartoum-based official
commander of the RSF, has made clear that further
critique of the forces would not be tolerated. In
public remarks, Abdul-Aziz categorically rejected
allegations of human rights abuses, warned that the NISS “will be on the alert to
counter fabrications,” and demanded that those who had defamed the
group “apologize to the Sudanese people.”61

A nationwide and transnational campaign

Finally, the RSF is deployed by the Sudanese government across multiple theaters of
war. This is in sharp contrast to the first iteration of the Janjaweed, who were largely
restricted to Darfur. As the Sudanese government’s own fact sheet explains:

“The fields where RSF is authorized to work at, are not confined to certain areas, but
as of its national nature it can operate anywhere in Sudan. It has already started its
operations in South West Kordofan and Darfur states. RSF is now ready to
undertake any tasks all over the country.”62

Notably, a contingent of these troops was engaged in violent suppression of
peaceful protests in Khartoum in September 2013.63 Currently, in a massive show of
force directed by the Sudanese government, RSF forces are cordoning Khartoum
and have at least 3,300 troops working at established checkpoints to control
traffic in and out of the city.64

In both Darfur and South Kordofan, the fighters have directly targeted civilians,
particularly those of the Fur, Masalit, Zaghawa, and Nuba ethnic groups.65 Credible
sources tell the Enough Project that the government’s shoot-to-kill instructions to
the force seeking to suppress protesters in Khartoum during the September 2013
demonstrations included a special policy of targeting those who looked non-Arab.66
Human Rights Watch reports that protesters from marginalized groups were subjected
to additional torture and protracted detention.67 The RSF’s involvement in the
suppression of the September protests is particularly notable because it is unlikely that
regular army forces would have engaged in such a brutal crackdown.

Janjaweed fighters who are loyal to Sudan’s government have been implicated in
broader transnational criminal networks. Some are tied to elephant poaching in
Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.68 Others have been
linked to notorious Lord’s Resistance Army warlord Joseph Kony.69 Libyan weapons
are often trafficked through Chad and the Central African Republic and then into
Sudan.70 Reciprocally, Sudanese weapons are found all the way to
Cote d’Ivoire, Libya, Somalia, Syria.71

The Sudanese government also leveraged its relationships with Janjaweed fighters
to back the Séléka rebels’ effort to overthrow the government of the Central African
Republic (CAR), where diamond smuggling is a lucrative enticement. Africa
Confidential confirms that in some cases, the same men who fought on behalf of the
Séléka in CAR are now fully integrated into the RSF.72 The Sudanese self-proclaimed
“General” Moussa Assimeh—a Janjaweed fighter—was a key Séléka commander who
led 2,000 Darfuri mercenaries and helped capture Bangui, according to the U.N. Panel
of Experts on the Sudan.73 The Séléka-aligned former leader of CAR, Michel Djotodia,
relied on Assimeh’s forces in Bangui to fight pockets of resistance.74 In October 2013,
Djotodia awarded him a Médaille de la Reconnaissance in October 2013 for
his efforts to counter Séléka opponents.75

Reciprocally, there is anecdotal evidence that not all of those fighting under the
banner of the RSF are actually Sudanese. In one notable instance, the wali (deputy
state governor) of South Darfur was stopped at a checkpoint outside Nyala, South
Darfur by an RSF militiaman.76 The man responsible for guarding the checkpoint was
not Sudanese and was unfamiliar with the wali’s status within the community. A local
fighter would not have committed this type of transgression. More broadly, informants
within Sudan report numerous occasions in which they interacted with militiamen
who spoke a different style of Arabic from that used by Darfur’s Arab communities.

Finally, some analysts suggest that these troops, who have been much more lethally
effective than previous iterations, received instruction from Iranian agents on urban
combat, crowd control, and counterinsurgency tactics.77 The Sudanese government
refers to the RSF by their Arabic initials, which shorten to Quds—the Arabic name
for Jerusalem. The similarity between Sudan’s new nomenclature for its most brutal
fighting force and the feared Iranian Quds force may not be accidental.

Rekindling an old flame

For more than a decade, Sudan’s government has relied on Arab militiamen to do
its proverbial dirty work: attacking civilians, burning villages, and slowly destroying
traditional cultural ties within targeted communities in the periphery.78 This alliance
between the government and the militias was grounded in three key factors: the Arab
tribes of Darfur’s historic landless status, the government’s need for proxies to carry
out their fight and thus afford them plausible deniability, and the potential for mutual
economic benefit. At the height of the violence in the period from 2003 to 2005,
Janjaweed fighters were the primary perpetrators of brutal attacks on non-Arab civilians,
particularly those from the Fur, Masalit, and Zaghawa communities. The International
Criminal Court (ICC) traced these attacks to the highest levels of Sudan’s government,
eventually issuing an arrest warrant indicting President Bashir for genocide.79

In the intervening years, with the loss of oil revenues from wells in South Sudan, the
Sudanese government grew increasingly unable to fulfill its economic commitments
to the young Arab men who form the backbone of the Janjaweed.80 While some were
integrated into the security apparatus as members of the Popular Defense Forces, the
Central Reserve Police, or the Border Guard, others were left jockeying for alternate
revenue streams. As al-Hadi Adam Hamid, a retired lieutenant general who has
intermittently headed Sudan’s Border Guards since 2003, told researchers with the
International Crisis Group: “Later, many members ... felt the government abandoned
them. Before they were given salaries, cars, fuel, and uniforms—now it’s over.”81 These
“abandoned” Janjaweed often looked to looting, kidnapping, and pillaging to fill the gap.
In some cases, their battles took place within Darfur, but in many instances, they tapped
into broader transnational criminal poaching and trafficking networks.

The effect of this financial squeeze is vividly illustrated by militiamen Musa Hilal’s
ongoing campaign against the government.82 Hilal’s willingness to challenge his
erstwhile patrons is best demonstrated by the ongoing struggle over North Darfur’s
Jebel Amer gold mine.83 Over the past year and a half, northern Darfur has been the
site of a massive ethnic cleansing campaign, as both the Sudanese government and its
former ally Musa Hilal sought to take control of gold-rich territory from the native
custodians, the sedentary Beni Hussein community.84 After both the Beni Hussein and
thousands of other migrant miners were displaced from the area, both Hilal’s forces and
government troops are now struggling to retain control of the lucrative mining zone.

When not supplied with their expected compensation, dissatisfied Janjaweed cadres
have wrought havoc and committed atrocities. In July 2013, fighting in Nyala, South
Darfur between elements of Sudan’s state security forces and Arab militiamen in July
2013 exposed these growing fissures and dissatisfaction.85 Some analysts believe that
this dispute was actually linked to the distribution of war spoils from the Central African
Republic, where the Sudanese government dispatched Janjaweed fighters.86 More
broadly, these clashes show increasing fragmentation of the alliance between the state’s
security apparatus and Janjaweed militias as patronage networks break down.

For the Sudanese government, forming the RSF was—in part—an attempt to address
and counterbalance these other less reliable Janjaweed groups. For the regime, the newly
launched RSF is a reliable and dependable force willing to operate across the country.

A single force of terror across the country

For years, President Bashir’s regime has faced an armed and political challenge from
rebels on the periphery and a burgeoning opposition in the center. In response, the
regime has recommitted itself to a narrow and divisive vision of what it means to be
Sudanese. As a consequence, its strategy for self-preservation has been grounded in
collective punishment of the communities from which a majority of the rebels come.
Long-term observers of Sudanese politics agree that displacing and driving away these
communities remains a central element of the government’s strategy for managing
diversity and dealing with the rebellion.

The RSF’s value to the Sudanese government is not limited to attacking the country’s
peripheral communities. In fact, their first test occurred in Khartoum itself. When
peaceful protesters took to the streets of Khartoum in September 2013, a contingent of
the RSF received their first assignment. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International
found that the troops sent in to suppress the protests utilized shoot-to-kill tactics.87
This assessment was confirmed by a NISS defector who revealed the group’s operating
protocol to the larger public in a confessional television interview with the Al Arabiya
network.88 Since many of the newly recruited RSF fighters were Darfuris who had never
been to Khartoum or Omdurman, the forces had to place both a navigator and a driver
in each vehicle that was dispatched to quell the protests.

Sources close to Sudanese state security confirmed that the RSF were dispatched to
the scene of peaceful demonstrations in Khartoum since both national police and the
army were reluctant to engage peaceful demonstrators with live ammunition.89 In light
of the growing swell of popular protest, the regime needed a reliable force to take the
responsibility for suppressing the protesters. As the RSF are loyal to those at the very
top of the regime—as opposed to intermediary army officials—the government was
able to comfortably rely on these forces to shoot to kill without compunction.

Non-Arabs were often targeted by the RSF troops, either while on the streets or
more often after detention during the interrogation process. According to Human
Rights Watch, if the interrogation process revealed that a protester was “not Arab,”
he or she faced harsher treatment.90

South Kordofan in late 2013 and early 2014

After quelling the demonstrations in September 2013, the government sent
RSF troops to South Kordofan to participate in a widely publicized campaign against
rebel Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) forces. Sudanese Minister of Defense Gen.
Abdel-Rahim Mohamed Hussein first announced the massive military operations on
November 11, 2013.91 Hussein, who is currently at large despite an arrest warrant from
the International Criminal Court for alleged crimes in Darfur, said his troops
will “not stop until we crush them.”92

Khartoum struggles to mobilize its own army, which is largely drawn from the same
ethnic group as the rebels. The RSF once again provided the solution. 3ayin’s citizen
journalists elaborate: “Low morale among mid-level officers, the unspoken threat of
a coup and a lack of progress against rebel groups have forced the government to rely
more heavily on paramilitary units like the RSF.”93 Despite government claims to the

contrary,94 this campaign was largely unsuccessful. The RSF force was primarily trained
for urban warfare and suffered significant losses to the rebels operating in the region.95
Still, they did significant damage to South Kordofan’s civilians in the process, especially
those living in towns and more urban centers.96

Imagery obtained by the Satellite Sentinel Project documents both the aftermath
of aerial bombardment and active clashes in Abu Zabad, North Kordofan. Clashes
erupted on November 17, 2013 between RSF fighters and the Justice and Equality
Movement (JEM).97 Witnesses reported machine gun fire and the presence of
aircrafts, including helicopters; they said they saw bullet holes in market shops.98
DigitalGlobe imagery shows that at least one tukul, one building, and two vehicles
were on fire on November 17, 2013.99

Paid off to leave El Obeid in February 2014

After their first round of fighting in South Kordofan, the RSF retreated north to El
Obeid to collect their payment from Ahmed Haroun, the state governor. 100In the
meantime, the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) intensified its aerial bombardment campaign
against the area’s civilian population.101 While in El Obeid, the RSF troops were
implicated in gross human rights abuses, looting, and sexual violence.102 Their behavior
was so destructive that Haroun—himself an ICC indictee—was forced to apologize for
their actions.103 Meanwhile, with Haroun’s support, local government officials gathered
almost $3 million to pay the force to move away from their area and return to Darfur.104

Unleashing terror around Nyala, South Darfur

After retreating from North Kordofan, members of the RSF who had previously been
operating in South Kordofan were spotted in Darfur. The forces first stopped in Daien,
where they were received by parades and honors from the governor and military zone
commander of East Darfur.105 Before arriving in Nyala, the RSF had burned 38 villages
southeast of the city, sending tens of thousands to seek refuge in the wilderness.
Analysts describe this operation, which displaced at least 30,000 people within the
span of a few days, as an attempt to establish a depopulated ring around Nyala.106
Local media confirm these assessments.107

Most notably, in an eerie echo of the past, these forces specifically destroyed villages
belonging to targeted ethnic groups, leaving other groups untouched. In late February,
the RSF attacked more than 35 towns in South Darfur, including Hijer Tunjo, Afouna,
Baraka Tuli, Tukumari, Um Gounja, Thani Dileiba, and Hameidia. The forces killed
and raped civilians as they torched homes.108 Damage visible from satellite imagery

obtained by the Satellite Sentinel Project shows that attacks between March 16
and March 20, 2014 left approximately 126 huts incinerated in Hameidia. Sudan
Democracy First Group analysts observe that “this turned into a campaign of forced
eviction of predominantly African-origin communities from villages south-east of
Nyala and west of al-Fashir, unaffected in earlier cycles of violence.”109 The Sudanese
military issued a statement on efforts by government forces to “purge” the
area of rebel “remnants.”110

In her report to the UN Security Council, ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou
Bensouda highlighted these incidents, noting that troops under Hemmeti’s
command burned down between thirty-five and fifty villages in the area of Hijer
Tunjo, Um Gunka, Sani Deleiba, Tukumari, Himeida, Birkatuli and Afona and
reportedly raped twenty women and girls, with perpetrators calling the victims
“Tora Bora”, accusing them of supporting the rebels.111

Brutal attacks across South and Central Darfur

Radio Dabanga described a string of brutal attacks on displaced people in South
and Central Darfur, including sexual humiliation through nudity. RSF militiamen
assaulted 10 Kalma camp residents while they were collecting firewood at Wadi Birli
in late February. The militiamen beat them severely with rifle butts and batons and
took all their belongings. The displaced had to return to the camp barefoot and in their
underclothes.112 A sheikh who fled Hijer Tunjo told Radio Dabanga that he, together
with about 5,000 ”extremely exhausted” villagers, had arrived in Kalma camp for the
displaced in Nyala after an attack on their homes. According to the sheikh, at least
4,000 “Hemmeti militiamen” (RSF) in Land Cruisers approached the area of Hijer and
instantly started to shoot, killing scores of people instantly. The sheikh reported that
militiamen looted and set fire to houses. RSF troops seized and raped more than 20
women and girls. According to this account, thousands of villagers were still trapped in
the desert after they had been robbed of all their belongings and fled.113

The ICC Prosecutor’s June 2014 report to the Security Council lists “alleged grave
attacks by the Rapid Support Forces” in East Jebel Marra, Kutum, Mellit, Nyala, El
Fasher, and Tawila.114 Most disturbingly, contemporaneous imagery posted on the
RSF Facebook account confirms the troops’ presence in each of these villages.115 In a
televised interview, Hemmeti told news reporters that his forces attacked East Jebel
Marra, Sarafaya, Birka, and Bashim, chased the rebels into the wilderness, and left
them to die of hunger and thirst.116 The commander’s June 1, 2014 remarks reflect the
scorched earth campaign that the RSF was conducting across the region.

The Darfur Relief and Documentation Centre (DRDC) reports that an RSF attack
on March 15, 2014 displaced about 10,000 civilians from Tarny, Khartoum Belleil,
and Konjara in East Jebel Marra.117 Satellite Sentinel Project observations of this area
confirmed this report.118 The DRDC further notes that after the Janjaweed burned
down all the villages, they also looted the belongings and livestock of the victims.119

From East Jebel Marra, the RSF continued north, where the forces continued their
attacks on Darfuri civilian populations, including a dramatic raid on the Khor Abeche
camp for internally displaced people next to a U.N. peacekeeping mission. Satellite
Sentinel Project imagery from Khor Abeche shows more than 400 huts, tents, and
temporary shelters burned by the RSF.120 While in the Khor Abeche area, the RSF
burned a sheikh to death, abducted local leaders, destroyed water sources, and torched homes
and a hospital.121 The brazen nature of this RSF attack has raised serious questions about UNAMID’s
human rights reporting and civilian protection activities. A series of articles in Foreign Policy magazine
drawing on materialsleaked by Aicha el Basri, a former UNAMID staff member, evidenced the depth of the mission’s
obfuscation.122 In reaction to el Basri’s scathing critique of UNAMID’s inaction and deliberate cover-up of the
facts on the ground in Darfur, the International Criminal Court (ICC) chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda recently requested
that the U.N. Secretary-General undertake a thorough, independent and public inquiry into the allegations around the mission’s

On March 30, 2014, Radio Dabanga reported that at least 15 villages in Kutum, North
Darfur were raided and burned to ashes, and “thousands of people fled their homes,
most of them women, children, and elderly. They are wandering now in the wilderness,
facing the risk of dying of thirst.”124 These targeted villages housed non-Arab civilians,
mostly from the Zaghawa and Fur communities.125

Darfuri civil society activists spoke out against RSF
actions in April 2014, pleading for the RSF’s withdrawal
from the region. In a public statement, a coalition of
12 civil society groups said:

[The RSF] “militias, under the command of the National
Intelligence and Security Services, seemingly have been
commended for the burning of hundreds of villages in
South and North Darfur since February this year; for
killing, wounding, raping, and looting the property
of innocent civilians, and causing the displacement of
hundreds of thousands of Darfuri people.”126

April 2014 return to South Kordofan

In April 2014, after a frenzy of ground attacks in Darfur, the RSF returned to
South Kordofan and began to target civilians in certain areas, employing not only
ground attacks but also air strikes backed by the Sudanese government. Entering
from the north, they caused the almost immediate displacement of
70,000 civilians from the Nuba Mountains.127

The Sudan Consortium reports that from April 12 onward, several locations in Delami
county—notably Aberi, Mardis, and Sarafyi—were subject to heavy bombardment
on a daily basis by artillery and multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) deployed by
ground forces.128 After two weeks of aerial bombardment, the civilians inhabiting these
locations were finally forced to abandon their homes on April 27 as the RSF followed
up with a ground attack. Sudan Consortium monitors note that the villages where the
casualties occurred were at least 10 kilometers from the military front lines and did not
contain opposition military forces.129

Under international humanitarian law, locations that suffered the brunt of the RSF
attacks could not be considered as legitimate military targets. On the heels of these
ground attacks, Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) planes deliberately bombed the only
hospital in the Nuba Mountains, effectively denying urgent medical care to those
affected by the violence.130 A few days later, planes dropped a series of bombs on the
Nuba Relief, Rehabilitation, and Development Organization, a local civil society group
dedicated to providing social services in the area.131 Then, in June 2014, Sudan Armed
Forces planes dropped six bombs on a MSF hospital in South Kordofan.132

Encircling Khartoum while continuing violence on the periphery

Gen. Mohammed Atta, the chief of the NISS, issued a decision in May 2014
ordering the RSF to deploy around the capital city of Khartoum.133 At the same time,
the RSF remains active in both Darfur and South Kordofan. The Sudan Consortium
reports that during the month of May 2014, the government continued to direct
the intense RSF military offensive that it began in April, while also increasing aerial
attacks on protected civilian sites, including medical facilities, schools, humanitarian
infrastructure, and agricultural activities.134 The RSF’s offensive attacks resulted in the
seizure of Daldako and Alatomor towns near Kauda in South Kordofan.135 At the same
time, in early July 2014, the SAF bombed Kauda, resulting in almost 60 bombs falling
on civilian areas.136 Later in the month, according to citizen journalists with Nuba
Reports, more than 300 bombs fell in Um Dorein county while RSF
troops moved towards Al Latmor.137

In Darfur, the U.K. Sudan Social Development Organization (SUDO UK) reports
the continued harassment of people living in camps for the internally displaced near
Nyala and El Geneina.138 Notably, two uniformed members of the RSF killed Abdalla
Mohammed Bukhari, the head of chiefs of the Abu Soroog camp, on June 1, 2014 near
El Geneina town in West Darfur.139 Targeting traditional authorities fits within the
broader pattern of RSF attacks meant to disrupt the very fabric of non-Arab Darfuri
society. On June 13, SUDO UK documented two brutal acts of rape leading to murder
near Nyala, highlighting the gender based dimension of the RSF’s attacks.140
In her report to the UN Security Council, ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda
confirms numerous similar incidents of gender based violence perpetrated
specifically by militia/Janjaweed members from the Rapid Support Forces,
including the gang rape of a 10 year old girl.141

Continuing genocide and new crimes against humanity

Under the authority granted by U.N. Security Council Resolution 1593, the
International Criminal Court (ICC) has the jurisdiction to investigate and
prosecute individuals for their responsibility for crimes committed in Darfur.142
Even though this resolution was passed in 2005, it still applies today. Notably, many
of the individuals who have already been charged with crimes as a result of the ICC’s
prior investigations are also implicated in the current round of war crimes and crimes
against humanity unfolding across Sudan. Specifically, Ahmed Haroun and Gen.
Abdel Rahim Mohammed Hussein have both been closely tied to the new RSF’s
command structure. As commander-in-chief of the country’s armed forces and leader
of its security apparatus, President Bashir bears command responsibility as well. As
part of its ongoing crime monitoring efforts, the ICC‘s chief prosecutor has expressed
an interest in considering “new investigations into the Darfur situation.”143 This is
an encouraging step. The Prosecutor should consider amending the charges against
existing Accused and applying to the Pre-Trial chamber for new indictments against
senior RSF commanders, including Hemmeti, and NISS officials,
including Gen. Ali al-Nasih al-Galla.

Non-Arab civilians in Darfur were the direct targets of a genocidal campaign that
came to the world’s attention in 2003.144 The same forces continue to inflict collective
punishment on those groups to this day. In recent remarks to the U.N. Security
Council, ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda confirmed that “factual indicators seem
to illustrate a similar pattern of indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks against
civilians by the Rapid Support Forces.”145 She noted that in twelve of the seventeen
reported attacks, civilian villages were set ablaze and that in the majority of the attacks,
the rebels were not present in the attacked villages.146 Bensouda described the RSF as
the “newest iteration of the Janjaweed” and connected their activities with an “ongoing
pattern of aerial bombardments and armed attacks on civilian populations.”147

In working to destabilize what it sees as potential support bases for the armed
rebellions challenging its authority, the Sudanese government has adopted an approach
of ethnic targeting and land clearing. International humanitarian law’s fundamental
tenet of “distinction” demands exempting civilians as targets for armed combat.148 In
complete violation of this principle, the regime has made all members of the Zaghawa,
Fur, and Masalit ethnic groups their primary targets in Darfur, regardless of their
combatant status.149 This pattern has not changed over the years. Now, however, there
is not a blurred line between the activities carried out by the Janjaweed and those
perpetrated by the SAF. The Sudanese government has abandoned the fig leaf that the
Janjaweed don’t operate under their command and control.

A similar pattern is unfolding in the Nuba Mountains region of South Kordofan.
There, the Sudanese government writes off the heavy toll on civilians as collateral
damage from a counterinsurgency campaign against an armed rebellion. However, the
violence to which civilians in the Nuba Mountains are subjected is not an unavoidable
byproduct of war. The lethal combination of aerial bombardment followed by
ground attacks, the deliberate targeting of life-saving medical facilities, and the RSF’s
brutal fighting tactics all collectively show a broader strategy of attacks on civilian
populations. While the rich diversity of ethnic groups in South Kordofan makes it
difficult to make a case for genocidal targeting, the government’s actions do
meet the threshold for crimes against humanity.150

Unfortunately, no international jurisdiction similar to that set forth in U.N. Security
Council Resolution 1593 exists for crimes committed outside of Darfur.151 As a
consequence, there is no vehicle for international prosecution of crimes that occur
in the rest of Sudan. In light of the RSF’s nationwide scope of activities, this artificial
division between theaters of jurisdiction is problematic.

The ICC’s Rome Statue defines crimes against humanity as any of the following acts,
when committed as part of a “widespread or systematic attack” directed against a
civilian population in “furtherance of a state or organizational policy:”152 These acts
include—but are not limited to—murder, torture, rape, and the persecution of an
identifiable group on political, racial, ethnic, or cultural grounds. A similar definition is
enshrined in customary international law, making it applicable even outside of Darfur.153

Notably, to meet the threshold for crimes against humanity, attacks need not be linked
to ethnic or racial targeting. Unlike genocide, there need not be discriminatory intent
to “destroy” a group in whole or in part. In fact, a crime against humanity occurs as
long as one of the aforementioned acts is committed within the context of either a
widespread or systematic attack that is directed against a civilian population.154 The
Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda has clarified that
even if some of those living in an area “do not come within the definition of civilians,
this does not deprive the population of its civilian character.”155 The “multiplicity of
victims” touched by RSF attacks on Sudan’s civilian populations demands that their
bad acts should fall within the broader rubric of crimes against humanity.156 Under
the rules outlined by the ICC in its recent jurisprudence, as long as civilians are
the “primary” target for RSF attacks, rather than “secondary victims,” these attacks
constitute crimes against humanity.157

Finally, prosecutors will need to show that RSF attacks on civilians in South Kordofan
and Darfur were part of a “state or organizational policy.”158 In its decision on the ICC
Katanga case, the court softened the rigid contours of this standard, explaining that
“any attack which is planned, directed, or organized—as opposed to spontaneous or
isolated acts of violence—will satisfy” the organizational policy criterion.159 More
generally, since RSF attacks are planned and publicly announced by the government
of Sudan, they meet the organizational policy criteria much more easily than the
Janjaweed attacks during the first phase of fighting in 2003 through 2005.


Between 2003 and 2005, Hemmeti and his men led waves of attacks on civilians across
Darfur. At that time, international attention was fixated on the problem. This time,
these killings are happening under the radar and out of the spotlight due to competing
conflicts in both the Central African Republic and South Sudan.

In both Darfur and South Kordofan, the Sudanese government reinforces the RSF by
conducting ground attacks between aerial bombing raids. The concentration of RSF
attacks, especially in areas inhabited by non-Arab and racially “African” communities,
demonstrates the targeting that underpins the force’s current campaign. As Gizouli
explains, RSF involvement in the periphery “dispel[s] whatever illusions still linger
regarding the capacity of the state to act as a neutral arbiter in the bloody disputes of
Sudan’s hinterlands.”160 The Sudanese government has dropped its fig leaf of plausible
deniability. The RSF are indisputably a state organ on a publicly-vaunted state-directed
mission to terrorize Sudan’s marginalized communities.

By creating the RSF, the Sudanese government granted the Janjaweed commanders,
who formed the backbone of its genocidal campaign a decade ago, a new lease on life.
These commanders have taken it as license to kill with impunity. Unlike the national
army, which is at least notionally bound by international humanitarian law, the
RSF—as members of the NISS—have formal immunity from prosecution. Sudan has
replaced its official and professional fighting forces with a cadre of war criminals.


1 The term Janjaweed was popularly translated as “devils on
horseback” in the mainstream Western media. Janjaweed
more accurately translates to “man with a gun on a horse,”
akin to a highwayman.

2 In off-the-record conversations with senior officials within
both the U.S. government and the United Nations, recent
violence in Darfur is routinely described as comparable to
the fighting at the height of the genocide in the period
from 2003 through 2005. According to the U.N. Office for
the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), more
than 373,000 people were newly displaced by violence
in Darfur by mid-May 2014. If this rate continues, almost
700,000 people will be displaced by the end of this year.
This is in addition to at least 353,000 refugees residing in
Chad and some two million people within Darfur who have
been living at subsistence levels in camps since the period
between 2003 and 2005. Meanwhile, OCHA and nongovernmental
(NGO) partners confirm that in South Kordofan,
more than 100,000 people were displaced by new waves of
fighting this year. Many others who had previously sought
refuge in South Sudan are hesitantly returning to Blue Nile
due to the raging conflict there. The combined breadth
and scale of the violence in areas across Sudan, including
South Kordofan, Blue Nile, and Darfur, makes the situation
unprecedented. In total, six million people (more than 16
percent of the country’s population) need humanitarian
assistance at the moment. See U.N. Office for the Coordination
of Humanitarian Affairs, “Humanitarian Bulletin Sudan
Issue 23 | 2– 8 June 2014,” June 8, 2014, available at http://

3 U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs,
“Proliferation of humanitarian needs in Sudan means
greater funding required,” Press release, June 1, 2014,
available at http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/

4 U.N. Security Council, “Resolution 1556 (2004) Adopted by
the Security Council at its 5015th meeting, on 30 July 2004,”
S/RES/1556 (2004), available at http://www.un.org/Docs/

5 Radio Dabanga, “Sudan Leaks: ‘UN Security Council was
misinformed about Janjaweed,’” April 10, 2014, available at

6 3ayin and Nuba Reports, “Sudan’s New Shock Troops,” April
28, 2014, available at http://nubareports.org/via-3ayin-
sudans-new-shock-troops/#; U.N. Security Council, “Report
of the Secretary-General on the African-Union-United
Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur,” S/2014/279, April
15, 2014, available at http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/
view_doc.asp?symbol=S/2014/279; South Kordofan & Blue
Nile Coordination Unit, “Update on Humanitarian Needs in
South Kordofan and Blue Nile States,” Report covering 1st–
30th April 2014, on file with author; South Kordofan & Blue
Nile Coordination Unit, “Update on Humanitarian Needs in
South Kordofan and Blue Nile States,” Report covering 1st–
30th May 2014, on file with author; U.N. Office for the Coordination
of Humanitarian Affairs, “Darfur: New Humanitarian
Needs and Aid Delivery Fact Sheet,” May 25, 2014, available
at http://reliefweb.int/report/sudan/darfur-new-humanitarian-
needs-and-aid-delivery-fact-sheet-25-may-2014; U.N.
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, “Sudan:
South Kordofan and Blue Nile: Population Movements Fact
Sheet,” May 19 2014, available at http://reliefweb.int/report/

7 Radio Tamazuj, “UNAMID chief says fresh Darfur violence
‘similar’ to 2003 crisis,” May 25, 2014, available at https://

8 Under Sudan’s 2010 National Security Act, NISS agents are
immune from prosecution and disciplinary action for all
acts committed in the course of their work. See Amnesty
International, “Amnesty International submission to the UN
Universal Periodic Review 11th session of the UPR Working
Group, (May 2011), available at http://lib.ohchr.org/HRBodies/

9 BBC News, “Sudan denies directing the Janjaweed,”
October 18, 2006, available at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/
africa/6062766.stm; Human Rights Watch, “Entrenching Impunity:
Government Responsibility for International Crimes
in Darfur,” (December 2005), available at http://www.hrw.

10 Eric Reeves, “Janjaweed in Darfur Reconstituted as the “Rapid
Response Force,” Sudan Tribune, March 1, 2014, available
at http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article50134;
Mahmoud A. Suleiman, “Rapid Support Forces are the NCP
recycled Janjaweed,” Sudan Tribune, May 21, 2014, available
at http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article51083.

11 Talk of Sudan, “Sudan aborts UNSC statement condemning
government militias: sources,” May 4, 2014, available
at http://talkofsudan.com/sudan-aborts-unsc-statement-

12 Satellite Sentinel ProjectThe Enough Project, “Human Security
Alert: Massive Mobilization of Sudan Armed Forces (SAF)
in the Nuba Mountains,” April 15, 2014, available at http://
South Kordofan & Blue Nile Coordination Unit, “Update
on Humanitarian Needs in South Kordofan and Blue Nile
States, Sudan” Report covering 1st–30th April 2014, on file
with author; South Kordofan & Blue Nile Coordination Unit,
“Update on Humanitarian Needs in South Kordofan and
Blue Nile States, Sudan,” Report covering 1st–30th May 2014,
on file with author.

13 Human Rights Watch, “Sudan: Renewed Attacks on Civilians
in Darfur: Activists Detained, Protester Killed,” March 21,
2014, available at http://www.hrw.org/news/2014/03/21/
sudan-renewed-attacks-civilians-darfur; U.S. Department of
State, “U.S. Concern about Sharp Escalation of Violence and
Insecurity in Darfur,” Press release, March 26, 2014, available
at http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2014/03/223969.htm;
U.S. Mission to the United NationsSamantha Power, “Statement
by Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent
Representative to the United Nations, on Violence in Darfur,
Sudan,” United States Mission to the United NationsPress
release, March 12, 2014, available at http://usun.state.gov/

14 Regional analyst, interview with author, May 17, 2014; Human
Rights Watch, “‘We Stood, They Opened Fire,’” April 21,
2014, available at http://www.hrw.org/reports/2014/04/21/

15 Al-Taghyeer, “Janjaweed in their version of Khartoumiyah: a
warning to the people of the uprising,” May 26, 2014, available
at https://www.altaghyeer.info/ar/2013/reports/4007/.
htm; Agence France-Presse, “Sudan to deploy controversial
military unit around Khartoum,” New Vision, May 19, 2014,
available at http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/655728-

16 Africa Confidential, “Sudan: Chaos theory,” May 30, 2014,
available by subscription at http://www.africa-confidential.
com/index.aspx?pageid=7&articleid=5646; Kasper Agger
and Jonathan Hutson, “Kony’s Ivory: How Elephant Poaching
in Congo Helps Support the Lord’s Resistance Army,”
(Washington: Enough Project, June 2013), available at

17 Jerôme Tubiana, “Out for Gold and Blood in Sudan: Letter
from Jebel Amir,” Foreign Affairs, May 1, 2014, available at

18 Regional expert, interview with author, March 18, 2014.

19 Sudanese National Assembly, “National Security Act, 2010,”
(2010), art. 52, available at http://www.pclrs.org/downloads/

20 Mahmoud A. Suleiman, “Rapid Support Forces are the NCP
recycled Janjaweed.”

21 Abdelmoneim Abu Idris Ali, In Sudan war zone: here
today, gone tomorrow, AFP, June 17, 2014, available at,

22 Nuba Reports, “Musa Hilal and the Spreading Fires in
Darfur,” March 25, 2014, available at http://nubareports.
org/musa-hilal-and-the-spreading-fires-in-darfur/; Rebecca
Hamilton, “The Monster of Darfur,” New Republic, December
3, 2009, available at http://www.newrepublic.com/article/

23 International Criminal Court, “Warrant of Arrest for Ali Kushayb,”
ICC-02/05-01/07, April 27, 2007, available at http://

24 BBC News, “Sudan denies directing the Janjaweed”; Human
Rights Watch, “Entrenching Impunity: Government Responsibility
for International Crimes in Darfur.”

25 Nima Elbagir, “Meet the Janjaweed,” Australian Broadcasting
Corporation, March 6, 2008, available at http://www.abc.

26 Ibid.

27 Ibid.

28 Al-Adwa, “The Minister of Defence meets the media...,”
in December 29, 2003 (in Arabic), cited in U.N. Security
Council, “Report of the International Commission of Inquiry
on Darfur to the United Nations Secretary-General Pursuant
to Security Council Resolution 1564 of 18 September 2004,”
January 25, 2005, available at http://www.un.org/news/dh/

29 Julie Flint, “Beyond ‘Janjaweed’: Understanding the Militias
of Darfur,” (Geneva, Switzerland: Small Arms Survey), June
2009, available at http://www.smallarmssurveysudan.org/
Janjaweed.pdf; Aegis Trust, “Darfur Destroyed: Sudan’s
perpetrators speak out,” available at http://www.aegistrust.
speak-out.html (last accessed June 2014).

30 Jerôme Tubiana, “Out for Gold and Blood in Sudan.”

31 Regional expert, interview with author, May 10, 2014.

32 Aldaam Alsree Facebook, available at https://www.facebook.
com/AldaamAlsree (last accessed June 2014).

33 RSF fact sheet, email correspondence with Gamal Goraish,
Embassy of Sudan (on file with author).

34 Sudan Tribune, “Sudan’s RSF militia accuses UNAMID of
seeking to prolong Darfur conflict,” May 15, 2014, available
at http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article51010;
Agence France-Presse, “‘We didn’t loot... We didn’t rape’:
Sudan commander,” GlobalPost, May 14, 2014, available at

35 RSF fact sheet, email correspondence with Gamal Goraish,
Embassy of Sudan (on file with author).

36 Hana Abdul Hai “Sudan Blocks Security Council Condemnation
of Rapid Support Forces,” Sudan Vision, May 4, 2014,
available at http://news.sudanvisiondaily.com/details.
html?rsnpid=235323; SudaneseOnline News, “Parliament:
Rapid Support Forces have no mistakes,” May 4,
2014, available at http://sudaneseonline.com/board/10/
msg/1399219402.htm; Sudan Vision, “Sudan’s Defence
Minister Vows Decisive Summer for Darfur Rebels,” April 12,
2014, available at http://news.sudanvisiondaily.com/details.

37 Mohamed Omar El-Haj, “Rapid Support Forces are Strictly
Disciplined as Part of NISS Structure, Says Commander,”
Sudan Vision, May 21, 2014, available at http://news.sudanvisiondaily.

38 Regional expert, interview with author, June 4, 2014.

39 Regional expert, interview with author, May 20, 2014.

40 Sudan Tribune, “5,500 Janjaweed fighter trained by government
in a secret camp in Khartoum: PCP,” February 3, 2014,
available at http://sudantribune.com/spip.php?article49833.

41 3ayin and Nuba Reports, “Sudan’s New Shock Troops.”

42 Regional expert, interview with author, June 2, 2014.

43 Regional expert, interview with author, May 15, 2014.

44 Regional analyst, interview with author, June 3, 2014.

45 Magdi El Gizouli, “Himeidti: the new Sudanese man,” Sudan
Tribune, May 17, 2014, available at http://www.sudantribune.

46 Ahmed Haroun is currently governor of South Kordofan.

47 Sudanese National Assembly, “National Security Act, 2010,”
(2010); Amnesty International, “Amnesty International Submission
to the UN Universal Periodic Review 11th session of
the UPR Working Group.”

48 RSF fact sheet, email correspondence with Gamal Goraish,
Embassy of Sudan (on file with author).

49 Adrienne L. Fricke and Amira Khair, “ Laws Without Justice:
An Assessment of Sudanese Laws Affecting Survivors of
Rape,” (Washington: Refugees International, June 2007),
available at http://www.refintl.org/policy/in-depth-report/

50 Gizouli, “Himeidti: the new Sudanese man.”

51 Muhammad Osman, “Sudan arrest threatens national
dialogue,” Al Jazeera, May 19, 2014, available at http://www.
Agence France-Presse, “Sudan ex-PM grilled over Darfur
‘rapes by military’ claim,’” Al Arabiya, May 15, 2014, available
at http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/2014/05/15/
html; Mohamed Babikir, “Parliament Denounces Al-Mahdi
Statement, Labels it High Treason,” Sudan Vision, May 14,
2014, available at http://news.sudanvisiondaily.com/details.

52 U.S. Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan, “Press Statement on the
Detention of Former Prime Minister Saddiq al-Mahdi,” Press
release, May 22, 2014, available at http://sudan.usembassy.
gov/pr-052214.html; Club de Madrid, “Club de Madrid
condemns the arrest of Sadiq Al Mahdi and calls for his
immediate release,” May 18, 2014, available at http://www.

53 Sudan Tribune, “Police in Sudan use teargas to disperse
protests in different parts of the country,” May 27,
2014, available at http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.
php?article51142; African Press Agency, “No let up for pro
Almadhi supporters against Bashir,” StarAfrica, May 24, 2014,
available at http://en.starafrica.com/news/no-let-up-for-
pro-almadhi-supporters-against-bashir.html; Sudan Tribune,
“Weak turnout at Umma party protest against al-Mahdi’s
detention,” May 23, 2014, available at http://www.sudantribune.

54 Sudan Tribune, “Sudanese presidency refuses to intervene
to secure al-Mahdi’s release,” May 25, 2014, available at

55 Sudan Tribune, “Sudan’s state security prosecutor imposes
media blackout on al-Mahdi case,” May 26, 2014, available at

56 AFP, Sudan Frees Jailed Opposition Leaders Al Mahdi,
June 15, 2014, available at http://gulfnews.com/news/
1.1347742; Sudan Tribune, “Sudan Justice Mnister Stops
Legal Proceedings Against al Mahdi, Orders Him Released,”
June 15, 2014, available at http://www.sudantribune.com/

57 Reuters, “Sudanese Authorities Arrest Second Opposition
Leader,” The New York Times, June 8, 2014, available
at http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/09/world/africa/

58 Sudan Tribune, “Sudan’s opposition party says detained
leader refused to apologize in return for release,” June 17,
2014, available at http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.

59 Sudan Democracy First Group, “A National Dialogue or a
National (Congress Party) Monologue,” May 27, 2014, available
at http://www.sudaneseonline.com/cgi-bin/esdb/2bb.

60 Mazin Sidahmed, “Arrest of Sudan opposition figure murky,”
Daily Star, June 14, 2014, available at http://www.dailystar.

61 Mohamed Omar El-Haj, “Rapid Support Forces are Strictly
Disciplined as Part of NISS Structure, Says Commander.”

62 RSF fact sheet, email correspondence with Gamal Goraish,
Embassy of Sudan (on file with author)

63 Regional expert, interview with author, June 2, 2014.

64 Agence France-Presse, “Sudan to ‘deploy’ controversial
military unit around Khartoum.”

65 Sudan Democracy First Group notes on Darfur consultations,
on file with author.

66 Regional expert, interview with author, November 14, 2013.

67 Human Rights Watch, “‘We Stood, They Opened Fire.’”

68 Kasper Agger and Jonathan Hutson, “Kony’s Ivory: How
Elephant Poaching in Congo Helps Support the Lord’s
Resistance Army.”

69 Ibid.

70 Small Arms Survey briefing on Armed Actors and Arms
Trafficking in North Africa, South Sudan and Sudan, June 17,
2014, Stimson Center, Washington D.C.

71 Ibid.

72 Africa Confidential, “Chaos theory.”

73 International diplomats, interviews with author. See also
David Smith, “From terror to tyranny,” Good Governance Africa,
December 1, 2013, available at http://gga.org/stories/
terror-to-tyranny/view; Laurent Touchard, “Centrafrique : le
Soudan a-t-il armé les ex-Séléka?”, Jeune Afrique, December
17, 2013, available at http://www.jeuneafrique.com/
Article/ARTJAWEB20131217124614/; U.N. Security Council,
“Report of the Panel of Experts on the Sudan established
pursuant to resolution 1591 (2005)” S/2014/87, para. 234,
February 11, 2014, available at http://www.securitycouncilreport.

74 Local people in Boy-Rabe and around the military barracks,
interviews with Kasper Agger, Bangui, Central African
Republic, February 2014. See also Réseau des Journalistes
pour les Droits de l’Homme en la République Centrafricaine,
“Bangui: Le général Moussa Assimeh quitte la Centrafrique…
pour de bon?”, October 21, 2013, available at

75 Local journalist, interview with Kasper Agger, Bangui,
Central African Republic, February 23, 2014. See also Radio
France International, “Centrafrique: retour au Soudan du
général Moussa Assimeh ex- Séléka,” October 21, 2013,
available at http://www.rfi.fr/afrique/20131021-rca-centrafrique-
Sorokate, « Presse centrafricaine: Monitoring du Vendredi
04 Octobre 2013, » Journal de Bangui, October 4, 2013,
available at http://www.journaldebangui.com/artdist.

76 Regional analyst, interview with author, June 10, 2014;
Radio Dabanga, Militiamen steal cars, rob citizens in South
Darfur capital, May 27, 2014, available at https://www.

77 Regional expert, interview with author, June 2, 2014.

78 Aegis Trust, “Darfur Destroyed: Sudan’s perpetrators speak

79 International Criminal Court, “Investigation: Situation
in Darfur,” ICC-02/05, available at http://www.icc-cpi.int/
20icc%200205/Pages/situation%20icc-0205.aspx (last
accessed June 2014).

80 John Prendergast, Omer Ismail, and Akshaya Kumar, “The
Economics of Ethnic Cleansing in Darfur,” (Washington:
Enough Project and Satellite Sentinel Project, August 2013),
available at http://www.enoughproject.org/files/Economics-

81 Tubiana, “Out for Gold and Blood in Sudan.”

82 Abdullahi Osman El-Tom, “Janjaweed leader Hilal and
his search for a new tribal war in Darfur,” Sudan Tribune,
September 15, 2013, available at http://www.sudantribune.

83 Tubiana, “Out for Gold and Blood in Sudan.”

84 Omer Ismail and Akshaya Kumar, Darfur’s Gold Rush,
Enough Project, May 2013, available at http://www.enoughproject.
org/files/Darfur_Gold_Rush.pdf; Satellite Sentinel
Project, “Darfur in Flames with Janjaweed’s Return,” (March
2014), available at http://www.satsentinel.org/report/

85 SUDO (UK), “Killings and Destruction in Nyala,” available at
and-destruction-in-nyala.html (last accessed June 2014).

86 Africa Confidential, “Chaos theory.”

87 Human Rights Watch, “We Stood, They Opened Fire.”
Amnesty International, “Sudan: Security forces fatally shoot
dozens of protesters as demonstrations grow,” September
26, 2013, available at http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/

88 Al Arabiya video, November 10, 2013, available via Facebook
at https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10152352349409196&set=vb.94791419195&type=2&permPage=1
(last accessed June 2014).

89 Regional expert, interview with author, June 2, 2014.

90 Human Rights Watch, “We Stood, They Opened Fire.”

91 Mohammed Amin, “Sudan launches major offensive against
rebels, Africa Review, November 13 2013, available at http://

92 Ibid.

93 3ayin and Nuba Reports, “Sudan’s New Shock Troops.”

94 Sudan Tribune, “Military campaign in South Kordofan coming
to end: SAF,” January 29, 2014, available at http://www.

95 Radio Tamazuj, “Photos: Troji battlefield in South Kordofan,”
January 10, 2014, available at https://radiotamazuj.org/en/
article/photos-troji-battlefield-south-kordofan; Nuba Reports,
“Raw Video: Battle in Toroje,” YouTube, April 28, 2014,
available at http://youtu.be/uU-sCbKAd5s (last accessed
June 2014); Nuba Reports, “The Summer War-Update,”
November 29, 2013, available at http://nubareports.org/

96 See, among many sources, Sudan Consortium, letter to
the U.N. Security Council, June 9, 2014, available at http://
2009%20June%202014-2.pdf; Sudan Consortium,
“Human Rights Update: Concern over Protection of Civilians
in Southern Kordofan,” May 2014, available at http://www.
pdf; Sudan Consortium, “The impact of Sudanese military
operations on the civilian population of Southern Kordofan,”
April 2014, available at http://www.sudanconsortium.org/

97 Sudan Tribune, “JEM rebels attack North Kordofan town,”
November 18, 2013, available at http://www.sudantribune.
com/spip.php?article48846; Radio Dabanga, “Sudan’s rebels,
army clash in Abu Zabad, North Kordofan,” November
17, 2013, available at https://www.radiodabanga.org/
node/59315; Arabic report available at http://www.alnilin.
com/news-actionshow-id-74652.htm; Agence France-Presse,
“Rebels withdraw from Sudan railway town,” November
18, 2013, available from

Global Post at http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/
For accounts by both sides, see Justice and Equality
Movement report available at http://www.sudanjem.
%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AB%D9%88%D8%B1%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%A7/, Sudan News Agency, “Armed Forces
Repulses Aggression of Remnants of Justice and Equality
Movement on Abu-Zabad town,” November 17, 2013, available
at http://suna-sd.net/suna/showNews/XCAUbEDqStok30xU0oKLLvTLk7USUtV0xc2PnrUsgQY/

98 Agence France-Presse, “Rebels withdraw from Sudan
railway town.”

99 Satellite Sentinel Project, “Expanding War in Sudan Threatens
Civilians,” (November 22, 2013), available at http://www.

100 Regional analyst, interview with author, June 2014.

101 Nuba Reports, “On the Ground Update: Parachute Bombs
and New Offensives,” January 15, 2014, available at http://

102 Radio Dabanga, “Janjaweed ‘causing chaos’ in North Kordofan
capital,” February 7, 2014, available at https://www.
radiodabanga.org/node/66218; Radio Dabanga, “Outrage
at Janjaweed crimes in Sudan’s North Kordofan,” February
10, 2014, available at https://www.radiodabanga.org/

103 3ayin and Nuba Reports, “Sudan’s New Shock Troops.”

104 Radio Dabanga, “$3 million for withdrawal of North Kordofan’s
Janjaweed,” February 14, 2014, available at https://

105 Personal communication from regional analyst, May 25,

106 Tubiana, “Out for Gold and Blood in Sudan.”

107 Sudan Tribune, “Gunmen attack Darfur civilians, UNAMID
says,” March 24, 2014, available at http://www.sudantribune.

108 Mahmoud A. Suleiman, “Rapid Support Forces are the NCP
recycled Janjaweed.”

109 Sudan Democracy First Group notes on Darfur consultations,
on file with author.

110 BBC News, “Sudan’s Darfur hit by new clashes” September
21, 2009, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8266314.stm.

111 Nineteenth report for the Prosecutor of the International
Criminal Court to the UN Security Council Pursuant to
UNSCR 1593 (2005) June 2014 (on file with author)

112 Radio Dabanga, “Rapid Support Forces beat, rob displaced
in South Darfur,” February 26, 2014, available at https://

113 Radio Dabanga, “Thousands displaced in attack on more
than 35 villages in South Darfur,” February 28, 2014, available
at https://www.radiodabanga.org/node/67800.

114 Nineteenth report for the Prosecutor of the International
Criminal Court to the UN Security Council Pursuant to
UNSCR 1593 (2005) June 2014 (on file with author)

115 The RSF maintains a Facebook page with imagery at

116 Video available via Facebook at https://www.facebook.
com/photo.php?v=466612860136124 (last accessed June

117 Darfur Relief and Documentation Centre, Sudan Human
Rights and Humanitarian Bulletin, (on file with author).

118 Darfur Relief and Documentation Centre, Sudan Human
Rights and Humanitarian Bulletin, (on file with author),
Satellite Sentinel Project, “Bombed & Burned: Darfuri Civilians
Flee East Jebel Marra En Masse,” (Washington: Enough
Project, March 2014), available at http://satsentinel.org/

119 Darfur Relief and Documentation Centre, Sudan Human
Rights and Humanitarian Bulletin, (on file with author),

120 Satellite Sentinel Project, “Janjaweed Torches South Darfur
IDP Camp Next to UNAMID Base,” March 28, 2014, available
at http://www.satsentinel.org/report/janjaweed-torches-

121 Ibid.

122 Aicha el Basri, We Can’t Say All That We See In Darfur,
Foreign Policy, Aprl 9, 2014, available at http://www.foreignpolicy.
we_see_in_darfur_sudan_united_nations; Colum Lynch,
They Just Stood Watching, April 7, 2014, available at http://

123 Fatou Bensouda, Statement to the United Nations Security
Council on the Situation in Darfur pursuant to UNSCR 1593
(2005) June 17, 2014 (on file with author)

124 Radio Dabanga, “At least 15 villages raided in Kutum, North
Darfur,” March 31, 2014, available at https://www.radiodabanga.

125 Regional analyst, interview with author, May 20, 2014.

126 Radio Dabanga, “Darfur society critical of officials praising
Rapid Support Forces,” April 24, 2014, available at https://

127 Nuba Reports, “Massive Displacement as Khartoum Pushes
Towards Rebel Stronghold,” April 30, 2014, available at

128 Sudan Consortium, “Human Rights Update: Concern over
Protection of Civilians in Southern Kordofan,” April 2014,
available at http://www.sudanconsortium.org/darfur_consortium_

129 Sudan Consortium, “Human Rights Update: Concern over
Protection of Civilians in Southern Kordofan,” April 2014.

130 Nuba Reports, “Sudan Targets Only Hospital in the Nuba
Mountains,” May 5, 2014, available at http://nubareports.
Jason Straziuso, “US Doctor: Sudan Dropped 11 Bombs Near
Hospital,” Associated Press, May 5, 2014, available at http://

131 South Kordofan & Blue Nile Coordination Unit, “Ongoing
Sudan Armed Forces Bombing Campaign Targeting Civilians
in South Kordofan,” May 28, 2014, on file with author.

132 Doctors Without Borders, June 17, 2014, “MSF Hospital
Bombed in Sudan,” Press statement, http://www.doctorswithoutborders.

133 Agence France-Press, “Sudan to deploy controversial military
unity around Khartoum,” The Daily Star, May 18, 2014,
available at http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-

134 Sudan Consortium, “Human Rights Update: Concern over
Protection of Civilians in Southern Kordofan,” May 2014.

135 Sudan Tribune, “Sudanese army captures another rebel-
held area in S. Kordofan,” June 7, 2014, available at http://

136 Nuba Reports, “Sudanese Air Force slams Nuban town with
55 bombs over four days,” May 30, 2014, available at http://

137 Nuba Reports,Heavy Bombardment in South Kordofan As
Government Forces Gain Ground, June 13, 2014, available
at http://nubareports.org/massive-bombing-in-south-

138 SUDO (UK), “Nyala and Al-geneina situation updates 1st
of June 2014,” June 2014, available at http://www.sudouk.

139 Ibid.

140 SUDO UK, South Darfur Updates, Nyala, June 13, 2014,

141 Nineteenth report for the Prosecutor of the International
Criminal Court to the UN Security Council Pursuant to
UNSCR 1593 (2005) June 2014 (on file with author)

142 U.N. Security Council, “Resolution 1593 (2005) Adopted by
the Security Council at its 5158th meeting,

on 31 March 2005,” S/RES/1593 (2005), March 31, 2005,
available at http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.

143 Nineteenth report for the Prosecutor of the International
Criminal Court to the UN Security Council Pursuant to
UNSCR 1593 (2005) June 2014 (on file with author)

144 International Criminal Court, “ICC Prosecutor presents case
against Sudanese President, Hassan Ahmad AL BASHIR,
for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in
Darfur,” Press release, ICC-OTP-20080714-PR341, available at
Pages/a.aspx. The International Criminal Court indicted
Sudan’s president Omar al Bashir for genocide along with
his defense minister Ahmed Haroun. Human Rights Watch,
“Sudan: ICC Warrant for Al-Bashir on Genocide,” July 13,
2010, http://www.hrw.org/news/2010/07/13/sudan-icc-

145 Fatou Bensouda, Statement to the United Nations Security
Council on the Situation in Darfur pursuant to UNSCR 1593
(2005) June 17, 2014 (on file with author)

146 Ibid.

147 Ibid.

148 International Committee of the Red Cross, “Distinction: Protecting
Civilians in Armed Conflict,” March 2007, available at
pdf; Marco Sassòli, “Legitimate Targets of Attack Under
International Humanitarian Law,” (Cambridge, MA: International
Humanitarian Law Research Initiative, January 2003),
available at http://www.hpcrresearch.org/sites/default/files/

149 Human Rights Watch, “Targeting the Fur: Mass Killings in
Darfur,” Briefing paper, January 24, 2005, available at http://

150 The Enough Project and the Satellite Sentinel Project,
“Architects of Atrocity: The Sudanese Government’s War
Crimes, Crimes against Humanity, and Torture in South
Kordofan and Blue Nile States,” (March 2013), available at

151 John C. Bradshaw, “The Case Against Sudanese President
Omar al Bashir,” The Hill, April 5, 2013, available at http://

152 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, (1998),
art. 7, available at http://www.icc-cpi.int/nr/rdonlyres/

153 For example, see Korbely v. Hungary (Eur.Ct.H.R. Sept.19,
2008) (Loucaides, J., dissenting) (“One may take the recent
Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court as declaratory
of the definition in international law of this crime.”);
Goiburú et al. v. Paraguay, Merits, Reparations and Costs,
Judgment, Inter-Am. Ct. H.R. (ser. C) No. 153, ¶ 82 (Sept. 22,
2006) (cited approvingly in González Medina and family v.
Dominican Republic, Application, ¶ 104 (Inter-Am. Ct. H.R.
May 2, 2010)) (confirming the status of forced disappearances
as a crime against humanity due to its inclusion in
Article 7 of the Rome Statute); Sarei v. Rio Tinto PLC, 671
F.3d 736, 767 (9th Cir. 2011) (citing Article 7, along with the
ICTR and ICTY Statutes, as “customary international law, primarily
defined through the international criminal tribunals
at Nuremberg and elsewhere”).

154 Darryl Robinson, “Defining ‘Crimes Against Humanity’ at the
Rome Conference,” The American Journal of International
Law 93 (1) (January 1999): 43-57.

155 Prosecutor v. Akayesu, Case No. ICTR-96-4-T, Judgment, ¶
582 (Sept. 2, 1998).

156 Prosecutor v. Akayesu, Case No. ICTR-96-4-T, Judgment,
¶¶ 579-580; Prosecutor v. Rutaganda, Case No. ICTR-96-3-T,
Judgment, ¶¶ 67-69 (Feb. 13, 1996); Prosecutor v. Alfred
Musema, Case No. ICTR-96-13, Trial Judgment, ¶ 204 (Jan.
27, 2000).

157 Situation in the Republic of Kenya, Decision Pursuant to
Article 15 of the Rome Statute, ¶ 82(fn 73) I.C.C. (May 31,
2010), citing Prosecutor v. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, Case
No. ICC-01/05 -01/08, Decision on the Confirmation of
charges, ¶ 77 (June 15, 2009); Kunarac et al., Case No. IT-96-
23 & 23/1 AJ ¶¶ 91-2 (Int’l Crim. Trib. for the Former Yugoslavia);
Milomir Stakic, Case No. IT-97-24-T, Trial Judgment, ¶
624 (Int’l Crim. Trib. for the Former Yugoslavia July 31, 2003);
Mitar Vasiljevic, Case No. IT-98-32-T, Trial Judgment, ¶ 33
(Int’l Crim. Trib. for the Former Yugoslavia Nov. 29, 2002).

158 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, July 17,
1998, art. 7(2)(a)

159 Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga, Case No. ICC-01/04-01/07,
Decision on confirmation of charges, ¶ 396 (Sept. 30, 2008)
available at http://www.icc-cpi.int/iccdocs/doc/doc571253.

160 Gizouli, “Himeidti: the new Sudanese man.”

Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against
humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, South Sudan, eastern
Congo, and areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough conducts intensive field
research, develops practical policies to address these crises, and shares sensible tools to
empower citizens and groups working for change. To learn more about Enough and what
you can do to help, go to www.enoughproject.org.

The Satellite Sentinel Project, co-founded by George Clooney and John Prendergast, is a
partnership between the Enough Project and Not On Our Watch. SSP uses satellite imagery
and forensic investigation to assess the human security situation, and detect, deter and
document war crimes and crimes against humanity. SSP recently announced an expansion
of its work to focus on the economic drivers of mass atrocities and human rights abuses,
and to encompass some of the world’s most violent regions of conflict, including Sudan,
South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Central African Republic. For
more information on the Satellite Sentinel Project, please visit www.satsentinel.org.

1333 H ST. NW, 10TH FLOOR, WASHINGTON, DC 20005 • TEL: 202-682-1611 • FAX: 202-682-6140 • WWW.ENOUGHPROJECT.ORG




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