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Sudan: Rapid Support Forces Facebook pages removed from platform

Facebook pages belonging to the paramilitary group and leader Hemeti have seemingly been taken down
Sudanese paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) about 100km north of Khartoum, on 25 September 2019 (AFP)

The Facebook pages of Sudan's paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have been removed from the platform.

The removals appear to have affected both the pages of the organisation and its leader Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, better known as Hemeti.

Facebook confirmed to Middle East Eye that they removed the RSF from their platforms for violating their Dangerous Organisations and Individuals policy.

Since April, the RSF has been in conflict with its erstwhile allies the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) following contentious discussions about integrating the paramilitary group into the regular armed forces.

To date the fighting has seen at least 3,900 people killed, millions displaced and both sides accused of presiding over human rights abuses.

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RSF soldiers have, in particular, been accused of widespread atrocities - including sexual assault and torture - across the country, especially in the western Darfur region.

In response to a request for comment, the RSF told MEE the closure of their Facebook accounts "not only infringes upon the audience's entitlement to impartial information but also ushers in echoes of autocratic narratives, demanding swift attention."

Last week, dozens of human rights organisations, activists, lawyers, doctors and others issued a statement calling on the UN Security Council to refer the violations committed by the main warring parties to the International Criminal Court.

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In the statement, the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan  condemned atrocities committed by both the SAF and the RSF, which is supported by Arab armed groups in Darfur.

The group condemned the indiscriminate targeting of civilian populations and public facilities by the RSF and allied militias, particularly in the locality of Sirba - 45km north of West Darfur's capital el-Geneina - between 24 and 26 July.

Eyewitnesses who have escaped Darfur previously told MEE that the RSF was targeting members of the local non-Arab Masalit group, while on the streets of el-Geneina, the unburied bodies of the dead were piling up.

The RSF has previously denied the accusations on its now shuttered social media pages.

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