One of the survivors of violence in Central Darfur’s Zallingi was interviewed by the Darfur Network for Human Rights after taking a long journey across different borders to reach safety in Uganda.

Abulgasim , age 27 years old, is a Zalingei West Darfur state citizen. Who hardly escapes from life and death. Darfur Network for Human Rights (DNHR) interviewed survivor Abulgasim, who said that, since this war started between the RSF with allied militias and SAF on April 15, 2023,  he has been available in the city and never tried to migrate to any location outside of Sudan, because the RSF with allied militias surrounded the whole areas of Zalingei.

On April 15, 2023, at 3 p.m.,  Rapped Support Forcese RSF, with allied militias, attacked Zalingei to ambush the Sudanese Armed Forces SAF and their security intelligence in the west of the city. Still, instead of RSF fighting in the location of SAF, they attacked and spread the war in the whole area. They forced the civilians to be displaced in different directions and left the area empty due to the heavy weapons used and the bullet noise.

On the date of 15,4,2023, at exactly 9:00 p.m., SAF managed to bring silence in the area with its defense. Still, in attacking the RSF and trying to remove them entirely from Zalingei, SAF fired guns in all directions of the city, clashing with the RSF. During the clashes, the civilians got wounded and lost their lives, and there was no chance to identify all the dead bodies, bury them on the side of civilians, destructions of properties.

When night came on the same day, the civilians said that an SAF helicopter was coming to attack the area of RSF with allied militias, which made the civilians have sleepless nights, stress, and wonder about the fire war effects.

On 16,4,2023, 6 a.m. RSF continued attacking, and whenever they wanted to reach out and fire bullets at the SAF, they were always in the direction of civilians in neighboring villages (Al Mahafazen area, AL-start area, Hasahasa area), leaving massive killings and injuries more than hundreds of civilians apart from those wounded and crying for medical assistance.

 It was during this suffering of the civilians that elders went ahead. The local leaders in Zalingei made up a committee that should be responsible for protecting innocent citizens, and this brought a positive silence for a few days only after the committee met different heads of RSF and the SAF representatives.

 Still, unfortunately, RSF, with allied militias, did not respect the agreement signed and went ahead attacking again while sending 4 to 5 troops to make noise and flood the area and military base to distract the attention and again step back.

Furthermore, the survivor said that two civilians, Adel Al-Tigani and Mohammed Ali Laban, whose houses were looted, destroyed, and inherited by the RSF, with allied militias as a hiding point and location for resting, and this again brought back the agreement negotiation from the local leaders among were Omda AL Zuber, Fadul Al-Ceci the to approach the RSF again though they accepted the first agreement and rejected it afterward.

SAF then interfered and ordered the RSF to leave the areas of civilians as per the agreement, which brought some silence for the next few days. On 25,4,2023,

In the process of the agreement between the local councils and the two armies fighting, some areas were already empty of civilians because they ran away, to mention a few, in the Al-Ehsad area. These local community leaders called back the civilians to return to their home areas.

Unfortunately, the RSF, with the allied militias, attacked them their way, making them scared not to return as they were shut in live bullets by the RSF, with allied militias, and tortured. Three youths were killed by firing a live gun; one was a male. The two were females, and this gave a different picture for the civilians if the RSF, with allied militias, were fighting the SAF,  them the civilians because whoever gets out on the surroundings areas is always arrested by the RSF and insulted, accused of working with the SAF, and if the victim has no prove, they will be tortured, killed, raped and this scared the entire Zalingei. At the entry of Zalingei, there is the University of Zalingei, Nabatat Center for Awareness, legal counsel department houses, and all the development, clinics, and hospitals are at the entry in the direction of the government official offices and all these buildings were destroyed and looted property of innocent civilians by RSF, and survivor said that.

On April 28, 2023, at 9 a.m., the entire market for Zalingei was looted and destroyed by RSF with allied militias.  But still, there was a call for return again for the civilians under the protection of SAF, police, and the different humanitarian organizations, one being the Red Cross, who were present at Zalingei and told the civilians that they should return home to collect and identify the death bodies, look after their properties because the situation is now calm but still other bodies were not identified due to rotting, chopping of victims by the big weapons falling on them while running and others found in their homes unaware of shillings.

On May 8, 2023, at 9 a.m. in the A-Mahafzine area, RSF, with militias, attacked the headquarters of SAF with more than 40 armed vehicles. This resulted in the destruction, damage, killing, injuries, and loss of property, innocent civilians and

Others were left with different lives due to attacks and separations of family members, misery, heartbreak, and insecurity by the RSF.

On 16, 5, at precisely 9:00 am, RSF, with allied militias, attacked the area from the main gate on the east side of the city to the west side of the town; they threw shillings to the center towards the location of where civilians got confused and scattered into a different direction, this attack leads to destroying of houses and discovered themselves hiding with the RSF army due to heavy weapons interchanged between the two arm forces. This attack by the RSF led to the severe burning of ten homes in block B area for the settlement of IDPs, and areas ( AL Mahafizin areas,5minute area, AL-wadi area, west area, and Kanjomia area)  suffered severe destruction, looted, killing, injury, as clashing continues between RSF, and SAF up to 7:00 pm because weapons were used with all types of guns, heavy shellings.

RSF discrimination against civilians in Zalingei, the person can only survive death at the hands of RSF if the relationship is linked to them; otherwise, most of us in town are victims of unknown RSF goals of fighting, as stated by Abulgasim.

On 17,5,2023, at 5:30 a.m., RSF attacked SAF  base areas with 8,000 allied militias riding motorcycles and 60 armed vehicles carrying 1,500 armies of RSF RSF, with allied militias with different weapons. They attacked all Banks around Zalingei market (Khartoum Bank, Sudan Central Bank, Sudan Agriculture Bank, Blue Nile Bank, and general market) and were wholly looted and destroyed.

On the same attack of 17,5,2023, at 3:30 p, RSF in the AL start Area threatened the civilians and unlocked closed doors with a gunshot, and if anyone is found closing their doors, they will be asked to open their homes and remove the items asked. RSF stopped any gathering of civilians by any means, torturing them, harassing women found in the houses, and grabbing phones to trace links to SAF,  and no one was allowed to post any war. There was total security tied from RSF.

In looting, RSF cleaned all the medical health centers of Zalingei and the women’s project hospital. This gave a total picture to the civilians if RSF was fighting for the country or planning projects to steal innocent lives, loot, grab, and steal properties.

Mohamed Haroun, known as Haroun Sudani, is the LC1 in west Darfur, Zalingei, a 60-year-old civilian whose house was completely burnt down and looted by the RSF. This attack left nothing unturned as big weapons spread damage and intentionally burned down individual houses targeted. As added by the victim Abulgasim,  his schoolmate from the RSF, which he identified, told him to leave the area and close all the doors of the hose because is not safe to stay in clashes but to his surprise, he found all the houses in the area open while returning. All the properties were looted, women’s association houses were robbed, and the RSF lotted heavy and light machine cars because they were the only ones in the area after the displacing of civilians.

On 18,5,2023. Civilians identified the offloading locations of looted properties in al-wereda, Aljabalian area, which is full of the majority of Arab ethnics operating in the big market as nothing happened and with the help of RSF RSF, with allied militias securing the locations for their friends looting the resources.

RSF commander Dahiya is known in the area for keeping the looted properties with price tags. If the owner does not prove the property belongings, they will pay the amount tagged in their properties at a half-price purchasing amount at the original market. But what surprised me most was that after the owner returned the stolen properties, RSF was already waiting to rob it before reaching the house, forcing the civilians to give up fighting for their rights since there were no protections and security to keep their lives and properties.

 Jamal Ahamed Bugual a 50-year-old, a director for Um AL-Muomenen girls’ secondary school in Zalingei, was shot three live bullets because RSF was accused of working with SAF, but he was just a teacher when he was on his way home. He was then Rushed to the SAF army hospital in the area where he took his last breath.

On 19,5,2023, at 5:30 am, RSF attacked Zalingei areas with 3,000 bodas carrying 3-armed individuals on each boda, totaling 9,000 soldiers and more than 60 cars armed Landcruisers. Though RSF armies massively died, they still moved in countless numbers. Something surprising where these armies come from is that the populations of the citizens in the military have significantly reduced in death penalties, and this clearly states the kind of armies entering from different neighborhoods to join the war to steal properties. In areas like Al-wadi, Al Thurwa, Al Mahafizing, and Zalingei Hospital, the clashes continued until 2:30 p.m. After that, SAF helicopter boomed RSF, RSF, with allied militias hiding areas from the west and east of Wadifaro-sharif, ministry offices where RSF massively died, and the remaining RSF and militias supported attacks, looting humanitarian offices, properties of UNICEF, UNHCR, ALFAO, WFP, NCA, DRC, CRS, SAVE THE CHILDREN, while telling the civilians that they are only taking government properties and not from the civilians. , after the total looting of humanitarian properties at large, RSF announced the call to return civilians to their homes. After the return of civilians, RSF started moving from home to home, looting civilians’ properties, harassment, sexual violence, and collecting all phones, money, and gold from civilians. They also attacked the hospital and started harassing female medical doctors, looting medicines machines from the entire hospital.

On 24,5,2023, RSF, with allied militias, didn’t allow anyone to post any new and old pictures of war on social media, and in case this happened, they arrested those who posted. They targeted and monitored HRDs, activists, political leaders, journalists, and youth initiatives.

  RSF detained one of the youth initiatives called Mubarak in the market while taking tea took him to the headquarters of RSF near the police headquarters in the north Alkaranic area, and transferred him to the administration health insurance,  where Mubarak spent two days under torture, investigation about his activities, without allowing his family and anyone to visit, after that, he was released.

After a long period of suffering for the victims and survivors of the RSF with allied militias, the SAF armies have finally regained control of Zalingei. The RSF has caused extensive damage and destruction to civilians, leading to many casualties, injuries, and property loss. Despite the ongoing war, civilians feel unsafe due to RSF and allied militias.

More information is available from Mohammed Hassan, Executive Director, DNHR, by email: hassan.m@dnhr.org and by phone: (+256)752792112 or (+249)924638036.

More information is available from Mohammed Hassan, Executive Director, DNHR.

Email: hassan.m@dnhr.org

Phone: (+256)752792112 or (+249)924638036

P.O. Box: 144218