WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States, United Kingdom and Norway on Friday condemned escalating violence and human rights abuses in Sudan, especially in the Darfur region, the three countries said in a statement.
The countries cited attacks by Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a paramilitary force drawn largely from Arab groups and allied Arab militias known as Janjaweed, in Darfur.
“These have included – according to credible reports – mass killings including ethnic targeting of non-Arab and other communities, killings of traditional leaders, unjust detentions, and obstruction of humanitarian aid,” the statement said.
There was also concern about reports of civilians being targeted in Jebel Aulia, on the White Nile River, it said.
A war erupted on April 15 between the Sudanese army and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces after weeks of rising tension between the two sides over a plan to integrate forces as part of a transition from military rule to civilian democracy.
The three donor countries, who call their group The Troika, called for an end to the fighting and urged both sides to de-escalate.
“Both sides need to deescalate and engage in meaningful discussions that lead to a ceasefire and unhindered humanitarian access,” they said.
Gains for the RSF across western and southern parts of the country have broken months of stalemate in their war with Sudan’s army, bolstering the paramilitary force’s ambition.
The RSF’s dominance in its Darfur powerbase and the advances it has made in other regions stretching eastwards to Khartoum, the capital, has prompted speculation that Sudan could suffer another split, 12 years after losing South Sudan.
Sudan asked the United Nations on Thursday to terminate the U.N. political mission in the country, saying its performance in helping the transitional government of Sudan was disappointing.
(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; editing by Christina Fincher and Toby Chopra)