(Reuters) -The European Union (EU) condemned on Sunday an escalation of violence in Sudan’s Darfur region, warning of the danger of “another genocide” after conflict there between 2003-2008 killed some 300,000 people and displaced more than 2 million.
A war since April between Sudan’s regular army and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary has destabilised the western region and reignited long-simmering feuds there.
The EU’s chief diplomat Josep Borrell cited in a statement witness reports that more than 1,000 members of the Masalit community were killed in Ardamta, West Darfur, in just over two days earlier this week during attacks by the RSF and affiliated militias.
“These latest atrocities are seemingly part of a wider ethnic cleansing campaign conducted by the RSF with the aim to eradicate the non-Arab Masalit community from West Darfur, and comes on top of the first wave of large violence in June,” Borrell said.
“The international community cannot turn a blind eye on what is happening in Darfur and allow another genocide to happen in this region.”
The RSF said last week it had taken control of the army headquarters in West Darfur’s capital of El Geneina.
Reuters has reported that between April and June this year, the RSF and allied Arab militias conducted weeks of systematic attacks targeting the Masalit, El Geneina’s majority tribe, as war flared with Sudan’s army.
In public comments, Arab tribal leaders have denied engaging in ethnic cleansing in El Geneina, and the RSF has previously said it was not involved in what it called tribal conflict.
(Reporting by Rishabh Jaiswal in Bengaluru;Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)