The situation in West Darfur led to an unprecedented escalation and tension with the assassination of the state governor, Khamis Abkar, hours after his arrest by members of the Rapid Support Forces.
For many weeks, El Geneina, the capital of West Darfur, has been witnessing violent incidents, with renewed fighting between the Arab tribes and the African Masalit, in a way that exacerbated the humanitarian situation and with it services deteriorated and the rates of asylum to neighboring Chad increased. the job.
With the start of fighting between the army and the Rapid Support Forces in Khartoum since mid-April, clashes broke out between the two parties in West Darfur, but this fighting gradually turned into a tribal conflict, as the Arab tribes lined up on the side of the Rapid Support Forces, and deliberately fought, fought and displaced the descendents. Of African origin, headed by the Masalit tribe.
With the absence of communication and the distancing of West Darfur from the circle of media attention in light of the conflict in Khartoum, El Geneina was subjected to the most heinous operations of abuse and killing on a tribal basis, according to an activist who spoke to Al Jazeera Net from the state of North Darfur, after he was able to leave El Geneina, and said that the city is subject to genocide and ethnic cleansing. Dangerous at the hands of the Arab militias, which are determined to end the presence of the Masalit, according to him, while the army does not move a finger to defend or protect civilians.
The governor, Khamis Abkar, was killed shortly after he made a statement in which he spoke of the difficult conditions for the citizens of his state, and said that El Geneina, the capital of the state, was completely destroyed, and that the dead were buried randomly, and that large numbers of the wounded did not find treatment due to the suspension of hospitals.
Abkar also spoke about the fact that the army did not go out to protect and defend the citizens, while the Darfur governor, Minni Arko Minawi, ignored the intervention to resolve the situation, despite being notified more than a month ago.
The army and Rapid Support exchanged accusations of causing the death of the governor, Khamis Abkar, as the head of the Sovereignty Council, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, said in a statement that it was the Rapid Support who killed the governor, and denounced the incident, and what he called the treacherous attack that targeted Abkar.
However, Khamis Abkar, who comes from the Masalit tribe, has recently been subjected to organized campaigns by activists accusing him of arming his clan’s members to fight Arab militias. He heads the Sudanese coalition forces, which includes dozens of fighters from different movements that allied to sign the peace agreement in Juba.
On the other hand, the Rapid Support Forces accuse the Sudanese army of being responsible for the killing of the governor for arming one of the parties to the tribal conflict in El Geneina, in reference to the Masalit. Sources told Al Jazeera that the assassination of Khamis Abkar came within the framework of the conflict between the Arab tribes and the Masalit.
However, the episodes are narrowing around the RSF’s responsibility for the killing of the Wali, who is the highest-ranking government official to be assassinated since the start of the war between the army and the RSF, as video clips showed the moments of Khamis’s arrest at the hands of the RSF and some of them attempted to assault him, while he was the commander of the RSF in the state. Major General Abdullah Jumaa tries to get him into a room at the headquarters of the forces in El Geneina, and a short time later a video clip was broadcast showing the governor soaked in his own blood, after he was brutally eliminated.
An activist in the Masalit tribe confirms to Al Jazeera Net that Khamis Abkar was subjected to liquidation after refusing to record a video clip containing misleading information about genocide in El Geneina, and that he refused to obey the orders of rapid support, and chose death instead of giving false information.
The head of the new Justice and Equality Movement, Mansour Arbab, holds the Rapid Support Commander in West Darfur, Abdullah Jumaa, who appeared with the Wali in the video clip, criminally responsible for the arrest and liquidation of Abkar.
He told Al-Jazeera Net that the Rapid Support Forces confirm, by their actions, the war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide they have been committing in Darfur.
Arbab points out that what has been happening in West Darfur since May 23 cannot be described in terms of poor security and health conditions, describing El Geneina as the worst place on earth.
He added, “The governor counts 2,400 dead in West Darfur alone, and all these crimes are committed by the Rapid Support Forces.”
The horrible video that shows the assassination and mutilation of the corpse of Comrade Khamis Abkar, the governor of West Darfur, is a heinous crime by all standards, and it is borne by the Rapid Support Command, its ally political forces, and the external forces that support it. He was martyred in defense of his family, his land, and his honour.
– Mubarak Ardol (@MubarakArdol) June 14, 2023
In turn, the spokesman for the Justice and Equality Movement, Hassan Ibrahim, confirms to Al-Jazeera Net that earlier was kidnapped by the Rapid Support Forces and led by the commander of the West Darfur sector in these forces, according to their pages and eyewitnesses, to be liquidated later.
“In all cases, the RSF bears the crime of killing the governor and all the repercussions that this heinous crime will cause,” he added.
Ibrahim expects that the incident will push the already tense situation into serious repercussions that could lead to an all-out civil war.
The Sudan Liberation Movement, headed by the governor of Darfur, Minni Arko Minawi, avoided accusing the RSF of being involved in the incident, and said in a statement that the governor, Khamis Abkar, was taken from his place of residence by militias and liquidated him without regard for the rights of the prisoners.
The movement indicated, in a statement, that the city of El Geneina has been under siege for about two months by militias who closed the entrances and exits of the city, deprived citizens of water and electricity services, and occupied government and health facilities and hospitals.
As for the Sudanese coalition headed by the slain governor, it vowed, in a statement, to respond to the assassination of Khamis Abkar, and confirmed that he was killed at the hands of the Rapid Support Forces.
These developments in West Darfur state lead to more tension in the coming hours, with the increasing tribal mobilization of the Masalit to take revenge on the Arab tribes.
Khamis Abkar was one of the leaders of the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdel Wahid Nour, but he defected from him and established a movement with the same name that fought the central government in Khartoum in several areas during the period 2000-2010, and after the fall of the Bashir regime, Abkar appeared as head of the Sudanese coalition forces and participated in the Juba negotiations and signed the peace agreement. In October 2020.