The Sudanese Human Rights Observatory Report on Brutality of Violations by Rapid Support Forces Militias in Al-Jazira State

Discover the shocking findings of the Sudanese Human Rights Observatory report, exposing the brutality of violations and crimes committed by Rapid Support Forces militias in Al-Jazira State. Urgent...


4/26/20249 min read

From the 5th of February 2024 to the 1st of March 1st 2024, the Rapid Support Forces Militia (RSF) destroyed 57 villages in six localities inside Al-Gezira staMore than 1,200 unarmed civilians in Al-Gezira State have been killed by the Rapid Support Militia since its entry across state lines on15th of Decem15 people were killed with more than 200 injured by the Rapid Support Militia in Riyadh neighbourhood during the month of January in 2024.

Since it’s entry to the state on the 15th of December, the Rapid Support Militia has caused the cessation of Sudan's largest agricultural project, typically covering the nutritional needs of 2 million people, known as the Gezira Scheme.The Rapid Support militia looted all relief supplies in the East Nile unit allocated to 3000 families, subsequent to their entry to Madani city on 18th of December 2023.

The total number of displaced people who entered the Al-Gezira state since the start of the war is between 6.5 and 7 million people.

There are 900 health care facilities in the state of Al-Gezira, including 19 dialysis centres and numerous cancer treatment centres that cover 60% of all cancer patients in Sudan. All these institutions are now out of service due to the invasions of the Rapid Support Militia of this state since 15th of December 2023.

176,000 pregnant women have been at risk of being displaced from the state whilst in this vulnerable condition, since the entry of the Rapid Support Militia into Al-Gezira state on 15th of December 2023.

Over 400 Al-Gezira state villages are under constant threat and siege by the Rapid Support Militia.

The Rapid Support militia has stolen more than 40,000 vehicles since the Rapid Support Militia stormed the civilians in Madani city on 18th of December 2023.

After storming the city of Madani on the 18th of October 2023, the Rapid Support Militia looted the entirety of Al-Junaid sugar factory. Around 450 tractors, a truck and 300 vehicles were stolen along with all the cars, fuel, grease, chemicals and packing materials owned by the company.

Al-Gezira in 75 days

General feature:

Al-Gezira state and its capital are Madani (186 kilometres south of Khartoum) is one of the most important cities that containing a large number of displaced people. According to official statistics monitored by the report, the number of those who entered the state from 15th of April to 0th of December 2023 is estimated at about 7 million people. The state government also submitted its official statement to the observatory, where it estimated that the number ranges from 6.5 million people to 7 million people who fled the Sudanese capital of Khartoum.

The city of Madani is a fundamental city in terms of receiving patients in large numbers and those frequenting health centres throughout the state of Al-Gezira, where the number of patients received by the state is about 350,000 patients. Health care is provided in medical facilities in all state centres, which are about 900 health institutions distributed over 7 localities in the state, most of which are located in the area of "Greater Madani". The number of dialysis centres is about 19 centres distributed throughout the state.

The state also contains in its capital, Wad Madani, the most important cancer centres, which covers 60% of cancer patients in all of Sudan, including children. The centre also provides its services to some citizens of neighbouring countries who have been greatly affected by the suspension of these centres.

Economic Significance:

The state of Al-Gezira is considered, with its scheme that covers the nutritional needs of about 2 million people, the most important agricultural state in Sudan. Al-Gezira agricultural scheme, one of the most important productive projects in which about 300 thousand acres is grown as wheat crop. In addition, the state contains most of the businesses that migrated after the war started in Khartoum, where the number of new shops reached about 3 thousand new stores. It also includes 190 factories operating within it. The state’s geographical importance is seen as commercial goods and humanitarian aid that belong to the states of Western Sudan pass through it as well.

The state is also one of the most important states producing sugar commodities as it contains the first sugar factory in Sudan, Al-Junaid Sugar Factory, which provides jobs for thousands of farmers and labourers. Typically, they plant about 15,000 acres of sugar cane. The factory ceased operations and its assets were looted after the invasion of the state.

Madani Break-in

Despite the humanitarian appeal launched by the Observatory directly to the Rapid Support Militia and its leadership, which is directly responsible for its soldiers, the leadership of militia did not pay attention to all the humanitarian demands which were also made by other various parties. They continue to make inhumane excuses for the incursion and storming of the city of Madani, which resulted in the displacement of over 500,000 citizens and the death of more than 25 people as a direct consequence of the harsh displacement arrangements. This includes a large number of citizens who were forced to flee on foot to the state of Sennar, some seeking refuge in safe areas in the southeast of the state, with many looted during their exit from the state.

All neighbourhoods in the city were looted, in addition to banks, commercial institutions and the dry port in the city. In total, 50 cases of aggression were recorded on the day of the storming by the Rapid Support Forces against civilians. This resulted in direct killings of civilians which exceeded 30 cases on 18th of December 2023. More than 4 doctors were kidnapped on the same day from various scattered neighbourhoods in the city. In addition, more than 167,000 pregnant women were placed within the risks of displacement.

Attack on Localities

More than 400 villages in the localities of Al-Gezira were overwhelmed by the Rapid Support Militia, with most of the attacks on civilians were concentrated in the localities of the south of the state. The locality of Al-Hasahisa was subjected to looting of private property and factories. More than 40,000 cars were reportedly stolen from different areas of these localities as of 27th of February. They continued their plunder by looting grain and seed stores, causing Al-Gezira Scheme to be halted. A number of cities were also subjected to systematic massacres by the Rapid Support Forces, where more than one case of killings was recorded daily against citizens in the town of Arbiji. Furthermore, more than 1,200 people in scattered villages since the attack on the state have been killed by the Rapid Support Forces.

Institutions Looted and Occupied

The Sudanese company reported that the Al-Junaid and Sennar sugar factory were robbed entirely and destroyed by the militia, with the company stating that the militia looted all heavy machinery along with 450 tractors, a truck and 300 vehicles. The stole all the cars, fuel, grease, chemicals and packing materials owned by the company.

A source managing Al-Gezira Scheme also reported that all inputs from Al-Gezira Agricultural Scheme were stolen and looted by the Rapid Support militia after entering the project management headquarters in the Barakat area in the southern Gezira state. They stated that a number of cars and machines belonging to the agricultural units in the Marinjan area of the state were stolen, and that warehouses containing large quantities of agricultural crops such as sargum and wheat were emptied by thieves and armed groups affiliated with the RSF. The source said that the currently cultivated area of the scheme amounted to 500,000 acres, of which 200,000 acres were planted with wheat crops in addition to a number of other crops for the winter harvest. He pointed out that a large number of the project's employees, ranging from engineers, labourers and farmers, cannot work safely as long as the militants are inside the fields and administrative offices of the project.

Al- Hasahisa Resistance Committees said in a statement on the 22nd of January that the Rapid Support Forces has besieged the western neighbourhoods of the city of Al-Hasahisa, including the neighbourhoods: Kambo Haj Ali, Al-Rahmaniya and Wad Al-Kamel West. The RSF stormed the houses after spreading a kind of terror and panic by firing a storm of bullets into the air and threatening to kill. They then looted the possessions, money and phones were taken at gunpoint with some through beating civilians with whips in a barbaric and humiliating way that did not differentiate between men and women and between young and old. According to the statement, the force has detained a number of young people under the pretence that they belong to the army. The RSF later released the detainees.

The Situation in Riyadh and Al-Qadisiyah Neighbourhoods

A statement was issued by Al- Hasahisa Resistance Committees and also first-hand statements of a civilian on 20th of January on the topic of detaining of citizens, they stated that there is a continuation of the violations of the Rapid Support militia as these forces forcibly take citizens, either by arresting or kidnapping them under different arguments. Perhaps the most prominent example is the story of the arrest of the two young men, Uday Hatem and Mohammed Nidaa, who disappeared in confusing circumstances, until it was later found out that they had been kidnapped by the militia and deported outside Al-Hassa to the area of "Fadasi", north of Madani.

Uday and Mohammed were released on the 16th of January after they were able to contact their families. The families of both were looking for them within the area. The militia held the two young men for a week in harsh conditions filling their time there with torture, terrorism, and interrogation. In the interrogations, the militia focussed on videos found on a phone belonging to Mohammed after they searched him in Artaz near the buildings of the Water Authorities in the Arkaweet neighbourhood of Hahsaheesa.

Detaining of Citizens

In the village of Al-Azaza, west of Fadasi Al-Haleemab, the Rapid Support Forces gathered all the men of the village, young and old, beating all the residents, going as far as shooting some, resulting in a number of injuries among citizens. According to one citizen's statement who chose to go by initials T.W, age 45 years, this attack was also accompanied by significant looting of citizens' property and money by the intruding force. More than 6 young people from the village whose fate is unknown to date have been detained.

Torture of Citizens in the Village of Al-Azaza

According to the statement of the resistance committees of Al-Riyadh and Al-Qadisiyah neighbourhood, the population of Riyadh neighbourhood is estimated at 21,000 people, with the number of deaths reaching 15 and the injured exceeding 200 citizens. Most of the population of the sector were displaced, keeping the rest of the population under imprisonment and forced residence.

The death toll in Al-Hantoob neighbourhood also reached 6 civilians. Hantoob Trauma Hospital, Yomma Medical Complex and Hantoob Health Centre, which are the main providers of paediatric vaccinations and orthopaedic accidents treatment, are now all out of service. Accommodation centres for displaced people from Khartoum State, containing more than 5,000 people, have been attacked causing displacement once again. The RSF also completely looted relief materials stored in the East Nile unit allocated to 3,000 families, who will now be at threat of starvation.

Citizens in Al-Mia’aliq Subjected to Torture

According to the statement of journalist Azmi Abdulrazek, on his Facebook page, the city of Al-Mia’aliq was subjected to two waves of attacks. A civilian going by initials A.Z, age 26, who is a member of the resistance committee of Wad Madani, reported that the Rapid Support Forces attacked the unarmed citizens in Al-Mia’aliq area with a barrage of bullets, which resulted in the death of Babikr Abu-Khalif and the injury of two other citizens. Many young people in the region were also arrested under claims that they are working with the Sudanese Armed Forces.

The Wave of Attacks Continues (February 5 – March 1)

From 5th of February to 1st of March, the Rapid Support Forces overran over 54 villages. From the statement of an anonymous civilian going by F.A, they divided the state into three sectors: East of Gezira: run by Kaigal, South of Gezira: belonging to the Jalaha forces, while Madani and its surroundings are divided between the two parties. However, according to the civil sources of the observatory, "Al-Bishi" leads these forces in Madani.

Within these forces, there are ongoing clashes. On 27th of February, a case of clashes between these forces was recorded in Wad Al-Basir, because of the looting from citizens, which lead to civilian deaths.

According to a civil source, the most dangerous group attacking the villages are those who come on “motor bikes " with whom it is not possible to negotiate or reason with them. As for those who come on the back of four-wheel drive cars known as "Thatchers", these can be dealt with by denying the accusations of being part of the army and giving them either cars, gold or money.

In the village of Um Jirais, the forces open fire on the citizens as a response to the actions and discussions that occurred between the citizens and the forces that attacked the village. The source added that the officers who meet with the citizens, their meetings were a fraud, purpose being to photograph and take fabricated statements from the citizens.

The Food supplies is very bad because of the inability of traders to enter any products to the villages either as a result of the looting that occurs between the villages or as a result of looting that occurs on the road between Al-Gezira and the surrounding states. On 29th of February a field source of the observatory, who had with difficulty exited his village, reported that RSF units are scattered between the village of "Al-Wali" all the way near the state of Al-Gadarif. They set up check points in which each citizen is searched and a transit fee is taken, estimated at about 250,000 SDG.

The cash crisis is very prominent, as citizens do not have any cash, due to longstanding looting by the forces attacking the villages or as a result of theft in the checkpoints during the citizens entering the villages. This is reflected in the purchasing power of citizens and the failure of the agricultural season. It is expected to increase the food insecurity crisis and the spread of malnutrition.