Videos and images of torture on African ethnic groups in Darfur emerged

News Desk: Members of African ethnic groups in Sudan’s Darfur region appear to have been rounded up by members of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces and other Arab militias, according to videos and images.

The videos emerged over the weekend. In one of them shared online and geolocated to Ardamata, an outlying district in El Geneina city in West Darfur state, racist slurs can be heard as men in fatigues refer to the captives as “dogs” and tell them to “gather here”.

In another cut of the video, the same men in fatigues can be seen whipping the men. At one point the men appear to be forced to run down the street. A man fires shots.

In another video, filmed less than a five-minute drive from the first video, the RSF logo appears visible on the uniforms of some of the men dressed in light colored fatigues who appear to be controlling the men huddled together on the ground. The word “liquidation” is mentioned and the words “slay them”.

The RSF on Saturday announced it had taken over the main army base in El Geneina (the 15th division headquarters), close to where these videos were filmed.

A Reuters reporter spoke to three men fleeing from Darfur into Chad on Tuesday who said they had witnessed killings by Arab militias and RSF forces targeting the Masalit ethnic group in Ardamata, the news agency reported.

“Sickening reports and images coming from Ardamata, West Darfur, inc [sic] of assassinations, grave violations and massacres of civilians, following RSF takeover of area. Those with authority must uphold international humanitarian law, protect civilians, ensure rule of law and provide unfettered humanitarian access to vulnerable persons,” the UN’s deputy humanitarian coordinator in Sudan, Toby Harward, wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The RSF has denied that “any incidents of ethnic cleansing or tribal conflict took place in the Ardmetta [Ardamata] area of El Geneina, West Darfur State.”

In a statement responding to questions from CNN on Wednesday, the RSF said it does not target civilians and its forces are “fighting side-by-side with the people of Sudan to restore our country to its rightful path of civilian-led democratic rule.”

The paramilitary group said, however, that as a result of the conflict between RSF and the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) in the Ardamata neighborhood, their actions “did unfortunately result in the displacement of civilians” as the military zone is located amid residential areas.

“The conflict ended with our forces seizing control of the SAF 15th Infantry Division and liberating the division headquarters,” the statement said, adding that “since the division was liberated, Ardmetta has seen no further acts of aggression or armed conflict. Residents have returned to their homes, and security has stabilized, allowing life to resume as normal.”