excerpt from “Men With No Mercy”: Rapid Support Forces Attacks Against Civilians in Darfur, Sudan,” Human Rights Watch | September 9, 2015.
“Operation Decisive Summer,” Phase II, December 2014 to May 2015
[all emphases have been added–ER]
Most RSF units reportedly left Darfur in May 2014. On December 23, 2014, President Bashir announced the resumption of “Operation Decisive Summer.” Bashir stated that the aim of the campaign was to eliminate the rebel movements in Darfur and other areas of Sudan.
In late 2014, the RSF redeployed to Darfur and commenced operations in Jebel Marra and East Jebel Marra, in North and Central Darfur. From late December until late April 2015, the RSF and other Sudanese government forces carried out numerous attacks against villages and towns with great loss of civilian life. The magnitude of the violence during this campaign has yet to be comprehensively documented.
Some RSF units reportedly arrived in Tawila locality, in the area known as eastern Jebel Marra, on December 19, 2014. They were based in Wadi Marra, which is south of the town of Tabit.
According to media accounts and a witness interviewed by Human Rights Watch, large numbers of government forces, including the RSF, deployed in the areas around the town of Fanga, in early January.
Fighting between government forces and rebel armed groups occurred on multiple occasions, including near Fanga on January 1, 2015, around the town of Sarong on January 24, 2015, and in the town of Rockero on March 13, 2015.
RSF and other government forces were implicated in the overwhelming majority of abuses reported to Human Rights Watch in villages and towns that were either entirely under government control or in villages where rebels were reportedly never present or had left prior to the attacks.
The RSF attacked numerous villages around the towns of Fanga Suk, Abu Zerega, Golo, Rockero, Tawila, and Tabit.
Between February and May 2015, Human Rights Watch researchers interviewed 43 victims and witnesses to abuses carried out by government forces against the civilian population in Jebel Marra and East Jebel Marra from January to March 2015.
Abuses included extrajudicial killings, mass arbitrary detention, indiscriminate bombing, rape and other sexual violence, and widespread looting and destruction of property, including the burning of entire villages.
Sudanese government aircraft continued to bomb towns and villages in Darfur as they have done for years. Human Rights Watch received the names of numerous villages that were bombed in Jebel Marra and East Jebel Marra between January and May 2015.
On April 6, a UNAMID verification patrol was granted rare access in Jebel Marra, when it visited the town of Rowata, outside of Rockero, which had reportedly been bombed on April 1. The patrol concluded that 10 bombs had been dropped that “had killed 14 civilians, including 5 children, injured 18 others, and destroyed 15 houses.”
Yahya, 55, was in Rowata when it was bombed. He said that many civilians were killed and that rebels had not been present inside the town for months: “I was present during the attack. My relatives were killed. And my livestock was stolen. Ten relatives were killed. Some killed by bombing, some by soldiers. Our village was attacked twice.”
Human Rights Watch also spoke with four government soldiers who had defected to the SLA/AW. One army soldier who had participated in operations around Rockero said that their officers had ordered them to “rape women” because they were supporting rebels.Another army soldier who participated in operations in Golo and around Sarong said that he witnessed RSF and other government troops raping large numbers of women in Golo. A soldier from the Border Guards said that he heard Sudan’s vice president, Hassabo Mohammed Abdel Rahman, order a large number of regular soldiers, Border Guards, and RSF personnel at a military base north of Kutum in Guba, to kill everyone living in the rebel areas east of Jebel Marra mountain. A soldier from the RSF said he had heard Vice President Hassabo give a similar order to government forces on a base south of Nyala in Um-Al-Gora.
Survivors of the attacks fled primarily to IDP camps around the government-controlled towns of Nertiti, Jildo, and Tawila, to villages inside Jebel Marra and East Jebel Marra with no government presence such as Bouri, or to rebel-controlled and contested areas in Jebel Marra and East Jebel Marra, including areas around Sarong.
Nearly all of the displaced fled without any food or water, often in areas where there is no humanitarian access. Lacking adequate food, shelter, and medical care, and unable to return to their homes or their farms, there is a risk of death from starvation, illness, or exposure to the elements. OCHA has reported an estimated 130,000 displaced persons in areas around Jebel Marra and East Jebel Marra who are inaccessible to the humanitarian community.
Attack near Fanga
The area of Fanga, in Rockero locality, has been a rebel stronghold and area of fighting throughout the 13 years of armed conflict in Darfur. On January 1, 2015, RSF and other Sudanese forces, fought rebel forces and recaptured the area for the first time since the conflict began in 2003. A week after the battle, the director of the NISS, Lt. Gen. Mohammed Atta Al-Mawla, visited Fanga and reportedly lauded the efforts of the armed forces and RSF in defeating the rebels.
Alnur, 25, was herding his animals near Fanga on January 1, 2015 when the RSF clashed with SLA/AW fighters. He told Human Rights Watch that he saw RSF troops execute and rape civilians after the firefight:
After the battle the rebels left. Then the government came towards us and killed civilians and raped woman. I saw civilians being shot. I saw three people [get shot]. I was very near to them. … When the attackers entered people started to run and then they killed these people in front of me.…I saw five women being raped by the government soldiers … They were being raped outside on the ground.
Ali, a herder, had a brother in the village of Swanai near the town of Deribat, in the locality of Sharq [east] Jebel Marra, who was tending the family’s livestock when alleged soldiers killed him and several other villagers on February 23. Ali found his brother’s dead body when he returned, along with 10 other bodies, including 6 children.
Attacks near Abu Zerega
Around the time of the attacks on Fanga, RSF and other government forces attacked villages in and around the town of Abu Zerega, which is on the road between El Fasher and Shangil Tobay.
Witnesses told Human Rights Watch that soldiers killed several civilians, raped women, destroyed numerous water points, and stole many livestock. They provided Human Rights Watch with the names of dozens of villages that were attacked during the three-week period after the initial attack on Fanga.
According to Jaffar, a herder from the area of Abu Zerega, and Moubarak, a traditional leader from the town of Abu Zerega, troops in military uniforms on January 5 and 7 attacked several villages and hamlets and stole large numbers of livestock.
Jaffar, who was in the village of Hilat-Leyoon, near Abu Zerega, when it was attacked, believed that the attacks were very well organized and that the uniformed attackers seemed intent on looting livestock.
Two civilians told Human Rights Watch that they were abducted by the RSF along with their livestock. Aziz, a herder, was with his animals in the fields outside of Abu Zerega on January 15, when the RSF arrived. He said they beat him and broke his leg. He was then thrown in the back of a pickup truck along with several other people and animals before being left in the bush. He spent two days suffering alone in the bush before people found him and help him to return to his village.
Katwoa, a woman in her 40s, was also abducted by the RSF. She said that soldiers apprehended her along with her livestock before being taken to the forest, tied up, and left for two nights before a female member of the military came and untied her.
Alleged Mass Rape and Other Abuses in Bardani
On the morning of January 24, Sudanese forces engaged with rebel fighters from the SLA/AW in the area around the town of Sarong, on the west side of Marra mountain. After the battle, the RSF attacked several villages, including Bardani, a small village immediately northwest of the town of Golo.
The RSF reportedly set up a base of operations on a hill called Boro Fugo, which is about one kilometer outside of Bardani. They apprehended many civilians, brought them to this hill, and ill-treated them.
Human Rights Watch interviewed five survivors from the town of Bardani, all of whom reported that the RSF committed numerous acts of sexual violence during the initial attack.
Musa, a traditional leader from Bardani, said that the RSF attacked the village twice. During the first attack, RSF soldiers beat, looted and raped a large number of people. “I was kept hostage on the 24th [of January] and forced to watch rape,” he said. “They kept us hostage at the mosque. They said that they needed to teach the Fur [tribe] a lesson.”
Musa said that during the second attack, the troops burned houses in Bandani to the ground and also burned homes in the neighboring villages of Kara and Korma. Osman, 33, was in Bardani during a subsequent attack also said that some of the village was burned to the ground.
Asal, a 30-year-old pregnant woman from Bardani, said she was apprehended and raped by RSF soldiers:
Early in the morning the Janjaweed came and attacked us and forced us to go towards Golo. When we were being pushed towards Golo we were gathered on a hill called Boro Fugo, between Golo and Bardani. When they gathered us they ordered us to take off our underwear and raped us in front of our people. Myself I was raped. I was raped while I was pregnant with twins. I miscarried.
Jameya, a 37-year-old woman from Bardani, said:
Some huts were burned and seven people were killed [by the soldiers]. … People in the town were rounded up and brought to Boro Fugo, between Golo and Bardani. I saw with my own eyes [many] girls being raped in front of their fathers. Anyone who tried to resist was badly beaten. … And my daughter was raped. And then I was hit in the head, because I tried to defend her.
Umm-Jumma, a mother of three in her 20s from Bardani was at home when the RSF arrived. She described how she, her three daughters, and numerous other women from the village were raped:
We were in Bardani. They looted our livestock and burned our house. They raped my daughters and then they raped me. … The Arabs came to our village, they looted everything and gathered us all in one place. … They gathered us in the village by a mosque. … They separated out the girls. When they finished raping the girls they raped all of us. [Each of us was raped] by two people. … about 100 of us were raped. … my daughters are 18, 12, and 8. … they beat all the men. … The attack was in the morning and all day they guarded us with guns. In the evening they took us to a hill [called Boro Fugo]. They were kicking us. On the hill they raped some woman as well. 
Umm-Jumma escaped from the hill and fled to the village of Bouri. Aziza, 24, was also in Bardani at the time of the attack. She said:
We were in our village and the attackers came. … They gathered us, they stole the livestock, they beat our men, they raped our girls, and they raped us also. They took all that we had. They left us starving. They left us naked. We remain like this, we have nothing to survive. We can’t go back to our village.… My uncle was shot dead in front of me.…They gathered us and took us to the hill where the soldiers were…they guarded us. They didn’t allow us to move. They raped me. Our children were crying and they were thirsty. We had small children. We didn’t know what to do. We were kept on the hill for days.
Aziza was held for 15 nights by the RSF on Boro Fugo and then walked for eight days to an IDP camp in Nertiti.
Alleged Mass Rape and Other Abuses in Golo
Golo, the main town in central Jebel Marra, has been periodically fought over by the SLA/AW rebel faction and the government since 2003. During the past year the town has been firmly in government control and the armed forces have a base in the town. The RSF proceeded to the area around Golo around January 18, 2015.
Despite being under government control, the RSF carried out attacks on Golo on January 24 and 25. The RSF then used Golo as a base of operations for at least three weeks while they attacked several neighboring villages.
Human Rights Watch interviewed 23 victims and witnesses to violence by the RSF on January 24 and 25 in Golo and neighboring villages. Nearly everyone interviewed said that they witnessed several killings, mass rape, and widespread beating. 
Two journalists who traveled to areas around Sarong in March interviewed survivors of the attack on Golo, including 12 rape victims. The substance of their accounts was consistent with Human Rights Watch’s findings.
Those interviewed by Human Rights Watch said that there were no rebels in Golo either in the days before or at the time of the attack. Golo was under the control of the government and an armed forces garrison was based there.
Several said that, prior to the attack on Golo, military officers stationed in town had told them that military forces would be coming to the area to attack rebels in the surrounding areas. Civilians were told to take refuge in schools or in the hospital, where they would be protected.
Kamal, a 25-year-old trader who was in the Golo market at the time of the attack, told Human Rights Watch: “Commander Haishim assured the civilians that they would only target rebels. He spoke to us in the mosque on the Friday before the attack. He told us to tell our friends in the villages to come into the town. That nothing would happen here and that the government would protect us.” 
The soldiers told civilians in neighboring villages to go to Golo where they would be protected by the government garrison forces. Many of the civilians interviewed heeded this advice and went to the military garrison.
Residents said that approximately a hundred pickup trucks carrying RSF soldiers and possibly other military personnel arrived in Golo on January 24 at about 7 or 8 a.m. Immediately after their arrival they began looting property, beating men, raping women and men, and summarily executing people who refused to give up their animals or resisted rape attempts.
Two people told Human Rights Watch that some armed forces personnel stationed in Golo initially attempted to provide protection for civilians, but their efforts were ineffective.
Gibril, a 53-year-old traditional leader from Golo, hid in his compound at the start of the attack. “When they discovered us they beat us with the back of their guns,” he said. Gibril escaped his compound and ran to the armed forces base for protection, where he was transferred to the hospital. Some army soldiers even fought against the RSF at the beginning of the attack. “Six soldiers were killed in the market,” he said. Soldiers took him from the hospital to bury the six soldiers along with four civilians who had been killed. He provided Human Rights Watch with the names of the four civilians.
Zakaria, a 47-year-old trader from Golo, arrived in the market shortly after the attack had started:
We were told to take all our belongings inside Golo. .. Those outside Golo were supposed to come in. The commander told us a week before. … I went to a nearby village to bring back things… When I got back we were being attacked. All of the things in my shop were looted … Then I ran to the town. … I saw rapes, people breaking into houses, soldiers beating people. There was screaming everywhere. … I don’t know how many [rapes] because at that moment I was going crazy… [I was told] that one of my daughters has been raped. I don’t know where she is now.
The moment the military arrived the first thing they did was to start looting the livestock. Then they went to the market and looted all the goods. … Then they started shooting. I personally saw three people shot in their compounds who either died on the spot or later from their wounds.”
Nur al-Huda, a young woman from Golo, was in her compound with her father and sisters when they were attacked:
They killed my father. … My father was defending us so that we would not be raped and he was beaten to death. … After they killed my father they raped three of us. Me and my two sisters. … After they raped us they stole everything. We spent one night in our compound and then we fled to Nertiti. … On the way [to Nertiti] we spent two days in a village where we were treated traditionally. … Now we have lost everything. I am just begging to survive. 
Hundreds of Golo’s residents ended up at the town’s hospital. Many went there seeking protection. Others the RSF apprehended and took to the hospital against their will. As Golo became a base for RSF operations in the area, the hospital became a de facto civilian detention center.
During the three weeks the RSF was deployed in Golo, soldiers and militia members raped at least 60 women – and perhaps two or three times that number — in the hospital and fatally shot three civilians there.
Salah, a 32-year-old farmer who lives in Golo, had fled to the hospital for protection shortly after the RSF arrived in town:
On Friday [February 23, the day before the attack] a commander of the Central Reserve Force from the base in the town told us that the military was coming to attack the rebels and that we should go to the hospital, where we would be protected. … The next morning [at about 8 a.m.] I was in my compound with my [wife and three sons] when the Janjaweed and RSF came. They beat me and chased me out of my house. I ran to the hospital. There were many families in the hospital. There were also [a dozen] military police who were there with us. … Then [at about 10 a.m.] the Janjaweed came to the hospital and tried to take the women. The military police refused to allow them to take the women. [The Janjaweed] shot three of [the military police]. Then the other [military police] ran away.
Salah described mass rape at the hospital and the killing of people who resisted:
The Janjaweed entered the hospital and started dragging the women out and raping them. Some were raped inside the hospital in front of everybody. Some were raped outside. … At night they would come with flashlights and grab women and take them away to rape them. … The military base is across the street. Some were taken and raped on the base. … I saw three [civilians] shot in the hospital. They were shot in front of everyone. [Female name] was shot because she refused to be raped. [Male name] was shot because he refused to allow his daughter to be raped. … I escaped after two days and ran to the bush.
Salah spent three days and two nights in the hospital before escaping on the third evening. He told Human Rights Watch that during this time the soldiers raped some 60 women. Two weeks later he was reunited with his wife and family in a village of Bouri. His wife informed him that she had been among those raped. Later in February he returned briefly to Golo to find that his house had been completely looted.
Rufeeda, a 42-year-old midwife who works at the hospital in Golo, was detained there before she escaped and made her way to a displaced persons camp in Nertiti. She described the attack and what happened to the women at the hospital:
[On the morning of February 24] we were sitting in our house and the Janjaweed and government soldiers attacked and started to beat us. We looked for a safe place to run. There were so many bullets and shelling. We ran to the hospital. I saw people being beaten and shot as I ran to the hospital. …[The soldiers] came into the hospital. They separated women and men. They raped some women and they made the men carry stones from place to place as punishment. … Some [of the women] were raped in the hospital. … I saw seven raped with my own eyes. … I saw 37 injured people [in the hospital]. … Eleven were killed on the day of the attack. … Fifty-seven women admitted to me that they were raped or I witnessed them being raped. I talked to some of them in the hospital and [others] after I left and fled to [the IDP camp] in Nertiti. … I helped some women by cleaning them. But I didn’t have medicine. I didn’t have facilities. … Now [the displaced] have nothing to eat. Many will die.
Tasnim, a 38-year-old woman from a small village outside of Golo, was on her way to the market in Golo on the morning of February 24 with a group of 17 women when soldiers and militia attacked them:
We were surprised by government forces. They came along with Arabs [Janjaweed]. … They confiscated our belongings. They took our livestock. They beat the men. And then they raped us. They raped us in a group. Some women were raped by 8 or 10 men. … Seventeen women were raped together. All of us were raped. Even the underage girls were raped. … After we were raped some of us ran to the hospital. Even in the hospital some soldiers came and they raped women. … Some were raped in the open in front of everybody. Some were raped in the rooms of the hospital. More than 150 [women were raped]. … I saw one man who was raped. … I saw three people killed in the hospital. One was shot in front of us. They shot her because she refused to be raped. … We spent 20 nights in the hospital. Then at night we escaped. We ran to the [Wadi Golo]. In the wadi we found other young women who were naked and unconscious. … We ran to the hills [outside of Golo].
Tasnim said their situation remained dire:
We are still sick. Nobody has treated us. We cannot get access to treatment. No doctor has seen us. … Now the rainy season has started. We have nothing to eat. The people in the hills have no shelter. People have no clothes. They have nothing. It is very difficult for us to continue like this.
Mouhaildin, 24, was in his home in Golo on February 24 when soldiers arrived: “They raped my wife in front of me and beat me up. … My neighbor, a man, was also raped. He was raped in the middle of the street. … I saw three people killed in our neighborhood.
After beating him, the soldiers took Mouhaildin to the hospital, where he was detained for three weeks:
We were forced to stay in the hospital for 21 days. In the hospital they raped women. They shot a woman named [female name] and her brother [male name] because she refused to be raped. And they beat her sisters. … People were escaping the hospital at night. After 21 days I escaped and came to the hills. … During my time in the hospital maybe more than 150 women who I saw or I heard being raped. … Now everyone is in caves to the east of Golo. … The women who were raped, they need treatment. And they need at least a tent to pass the rainy season. The people have no clothes.
Attacks near Golo and Rockero
The RSF attacked villages around Golo and Rockero throughout February and March 2015.
Hassan, a 26-year-old teacher living in the village of DAYA, between Golo and Rockero, described how the RSF tortured him and raped and killed his three sisters:
I was in the school [in a nearby village] on the morning of the attack. … Two Antonovs [aircraft] came early in the morning and started bombing. … I ran [from the school] to my house and saw the Janjaweed. … My three sisters were captured. My grandmother was beaten. I was captured. They searched me and took my ID. Then they tied my hands behind my back. … They [partially] buried [a glass soda] bottle into the ground and forced me to sit on top of it [so that half the bottle entered my anus]. They asked you if you are a rebel and if you do not say yes then they kick the bottle out from under you [and break the glass]. I fell on the broken glass. I can no longer control my urination. … They raped [my three sisters]. They took them one by one out of the house [to another hut]. After they raped them they burned them [alive]. I could hear the screaming. I could see the fire.”
Adam, a former rebel, was also in Daya when it was attacked. The soldiers severely beat him before he fled. “My children were scattered,” he said. “I don’t know whether they are alive or not.”
The RSF’s campaign continued from February through April
On March 13, SLA/AW fighters attacked the Sudanese military garrison in Rockero, killing several soldiers and capturing munitions. ALI, 46, was in Rockero when the rebels attacked:
At about 4 a.m. the SLA came and attacked the government base in Rockero. SAF took refuge in the town. Rebels took many guns and ammunition and then they left. … Then the GoS bombed the town and the surrounding area. Three people were killed [by bombs] including a small child.
Accounts of Defectors from Sudanese Military Forces
Human Rights Watch spoke with five defectors from Sudanese military forces: two RSF members, two SAF members, and one member of the Border Guards. Four of the five participated in attacks in Jebel Marra or East Jebel Marra. All five defected to rebel forces.
Omar was a Sudanese army soldier stationed in Rockero at the time of the SLA/AW attack on March 13, 2015. A few days after the attack, Adam defected and fled to SLA/AW-controlled territory with the intention of joining the rebel forces. He told Human Rights Watch: “I ran away from the army and defected to the rebels. [When I arrived] they didn’t trust me. They arrested me. They put me in jail. But then they released me.”
When asked why he defected, Omar said: “What I saw the army doing, I did not accept it. They raped women and killed civilians. They said that we were fighting the movements but we never went to the movement areas.”
Omar, a member of the Fur tribe, said that he and other soldiers from the same ethnic group were often forbidden from going on certain missions:
Sometimes [the commander] would leave us outside of the village because we are from African tribes… maybe we would not accept what they were doing. … In the village of Fattah Kridnia, I saw with my own eyes four women being raped [by soldiers] … but when we were back at the base everyone was talking about how many they raped. It could have been 20.
Omar told Human Rights Watch that there was a prison at the base in Rockero where the soldiers detained, beat, and tortured men whom they accused of being rebels. After the attack in Rockero they detained several men and “two died of torture,” he said.
Omar said that on two separate occasions he was given orders to rape woman, including on the day after the rebel attack on Rockero:
The commander told us that these are rebels or rebel supporters and the woman are their harem. You go there and you rape them and kill them. … [On the day after the attack, after the commander gave the order] we went inside the town of Rockero. … I went with the soldiers. I stole some belongings from the civilians and I saw other soldiers burn down eight houses. … We detained 15 people. I saw one woman being raped.
Yahya, a 27-year-old army soldier, was stationed in Zalingei, Central Darfur, when his commander informed him that he would be travelling into Jebel Marra to confront the rebels in the town of Sarong. His unit arrived in Golo on January 22, 2014. He said that early on the morning of January 24, army and RSF soldiers left Golo en route to Sarong and were confronted by rebels near the town of Kwui, about two kilometers from Sarong. The rebels killed and injured many soldiers, forcing them to return to Golo.
Back in Golo, his commander than ordered Yahya to loot everything in the town and kill any man who resisted. While in Golo on January 24 and 25, Yahya saw soldiers raping numerous women:
In Golo town I saw soldiers raping women and looting the belongings of civilians. … Everywhere we went in town we saw fighters raping. In the southern part, in the east, in the north. It was Janjaweed and RSF and SAF too.
Yahya visited the entrance to the hospital in Golo, where he saw huge piles of looted belongings. RSF personnel prevented him from entering the hospital: “The RSF told us the SAF was supposed to go search for rebels. … They would not let us in.”
Ahmed, a 35-year-old officer in the Border Guards, spent two weeks at a military base in Guba in December 2014 before being sent to fight rebels around Fanga. Two senior RSF officials, the commanding officer, Alnour Guba, and Col. Badre ab-Creash were present on the Guba base.
Ahmed said that a few days prior to leaving for East Jebel Marra, Sudanese Vice President Hassabo Mohammed Abdel Rahman directly addressed several hundred army and RSF soldiers: “Hassabo told us to clear the area east of Jebel Marra. To kill any male. He said we want to clear the area of insects. … He said East Jebel Marra is the kingdom of the rebels. We don’t want anyone there to be alive.”
Ahmed said he was then given direct orders from Colonel Badre, who explained that they were going to attack the area of Fanga and the orders were to kill all the rebels and all of the civilians because they were supporting the rebels. Badre told the officers that if they found any women they were allowed to do anything they want to them, which MOHAMMED interpreted to mean rape.
Ahmed said that approximately 300 government vehicles, including army, RSF, and Border Guards, were used in the attack on Fanga. Many of the vehicles came from the base in Guba, and travelled west of El Fasher to Tawila, Katoor and then to East Jebel Marra.
Ibrahim, 19, said he joined the RSF in 2013, shortly after he finished high school in Darfur. After three months of training in Khartoum he was sent to fight in South Kordofan. In February 2014 he was sent to Darfur and participated in the February 28 attack on the town of Hijer Tunyo.
He said that at several points during his service with the RSF, including just prior to leaving South Kordofan and coming to Darfur, commanding officers such as General Hemetti gave orders to abuse women.
Ibrahim said that during the attack on Hijer Tunyo, he witnessed 11 women being raped. He acknowledged that he attempted to rape one woman, whom he killed when she attempted to resist: “Personally I did attempt to rape one of the women and she hit me. And I lost my composure and I shot her. … She is dead.”
Khalil, a former herder from North Darfur, said he was a member of the RSF since its inception. He told Human Rights Watch that he participated in 10 battles, including Um-Gunya, Fanga, and Golo. On numerous occasions he was given orders to loot and to abuse civilians. He said he witnessed members of the RSF committing abuses in during many battles. “In Um-Gunya I witnessed rape, and in Fanga and Golo.”
Khalil said that prior to the attack on Fanga, Vice-President Hassabo and Hemetti visited the military base where he was stationed, in Um Al-Gora, near Nyala. Hassabo and Hemetti joined the soldiers for a celebratory meal prior to the attack on Fanga. According to AL-TAYEB, Hassabo told the soldiers to “clean the area of civilians and to take everything that you find.”
Khalil told Human Rights Watch that after an attack, all the looted livestock was gathered in one location. Then the commanders took a large share and the remainder was divided up among the soldiers to do with as they pleased.
Khalil said that during the fighting in 2015, he spent 20 days in Golo, where he was based at the local council office. During this period he witnessed soldiers rape eight or nine women.
He defected to the rebels along with a dozen other RSF soldiers January 2015.