I am the daughter of a Masalit leader in Geneina, West Darfur State. I was born and raised in this city, which is home to a majority Masalit population. On April 20, 2023, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) militia launched a coordinated attack on the city. The RSF is a government-backed militia that is predominantly composed of Arab fighters.
The attack began in the early morning hours. The RSF fighters stormed into the city, firing indiscriminately at civilians. They targeted Masalit homes, businesses, and mosques. They killed men, women, and children.
I witnessed the horrors of the attack firsthand. I saw men and boys being dragged out of their homes and shot in cold blood. I saw women and girls being raped and abducted. I saw homes and businesses being burned to the ground.
The attack lasted for over a month. By the time it was over, thousands of Masalit had been killed or displaced. The city of Geneina was left in ruins.
The attack on Geneina was a clear act of ethnic cleansing. The RSF militia targeted Masalit civilians with the intent of exterminating them. This is a crime against humanity that must be brought to justice.
I am speaking out today to bear witness to the crimes that were committed against my people. I call on the international community to hold the RSF militia and its leaders accountable for their actions.
I also call on the Sudanese government to take immediate steps to protect the Masalit and other minority groups from further violence. The government must disarm the RSF militia and bring it under civilian control. It must also investigate the crimes that were committed in Geneina and bring the perpetrators to justice.
I will never forget the horrors that I witnessed in Geneina. I will continue to speak out until justice is served for my people.
This testimony is translated from Arabic to English.