Sudan conflict: West Darfur governor killed after genocide claim - BBC

A governor from Sudan’s Darfur region has been killed hours after accusing the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) of committing genocide.

In a TV interview, Khamis Abakar had asked for international intervention to stop violence in West Darfur he blamed on the RSF and its Arab militia allies.

The conflict that erupted two months ago between the RSF and army has inflamed ethnic tensions in Darfur.

The army said the RSF abducted Abakar and executed him, which it denies.

He is the most senior official known to have been killed since the conflict began in April.

[The] RSF blamed “outlaws” for his death, saying its fighters had tried to protect Abakar by taking him to their headquarters in El Geneina, the capital of West Darfur.

Black African and Arab communities in Darfur have long been at loggerheads - with the worst violence erupting two decades ago when non-Arabs took up arms accusing the government of discrimination.

In response the government armed Arab militias, known as the Janjaweed. They were accused of widespread atrocities and ethnic killings, described as the first genocide of the 21st Century.

The RSF was born out of these Janjaweed fighters - and now they and other Arab militias have again been accused of targeting African communities, going on the rampage in El Geneina.

The city is a symbol of black African power in Darfur and many people from the Massalit ethnic group live there.

Last week, medical aid charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said estimates suggested that at least 500 people had been killed in El Geneina alone.

According to the UN, more than 100,000 people have now fled the fighting in Darfur across the border into neighbouring Chad.

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BBC News

Events: 2023 Sudan Conflict 

Locations: Darfur, Sudan El Geneina Sudan 

Organizations: Rapid Support Forces Janjaweed Médecins Sans Frontières United Nations 

People: Khamis Abakar 

Tags: War Genocide Assassination Military 

Type: Headlines