Foreign

June 16, 2023

Sudan’s army, paramilitary trade blames as West Darfur governor killed

Sudan’s army, paramilitary trade blames as West Darfur governor killed

By Biodun Busari

The Sudanese army has accused the Rapid Support Forces militia of killing the governor of the West Darfur Province, Khamis Abdalla Abakar in a statement issued on Thursday.

In the same vein, the paramilitary RSF said the rogue elements should be held responsible for Abakar’s death.

The governor was killed hours after accusing the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) of committing genocide, BBC reported.

In a TV interview, Abakar had asked for international intervention to stop violence in West Darfur which he blamed on the RSF and its Arab militia allies.

The conflict that erupted two months ago between the RSF and the army has degenerated ethnic tensions in Darfur.

The army said the RSF abducted Abakar and executed him, which it has denied, as he was the most senior official known to have been killed since the conflict began in April.

BBC said video footage going around on social media showed a group of armed men, some wearing RSF uniforms, detaining the governor of West Darfur state on Wednesday.

But the RSF blamed “outlaws” for his death, saying its fighters had tried to protect Abakar by taking him to their headquarters in El Geneina, the capital of West Darfur.

It was then overrun and the governor was kidnapped and “assassinated in cold blood”, the RSF said.