Since 2003, the Sudanese region of Darfur has been ravaged by a war waged behind closed doors. Massacres and ethnic bombings have killed more than 300,000 people and displaced millions. Our journalists have gained extremely rare access to the region, where violence continues despite the fall of longtime President Omar el-Bashir. This is their exclusive report.
“War crimes”, “crimes against humanity” and “genocide” – such are the accusations of the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Omar el-Béchir, the former Sudanese president overthrown by a popular uprising in April 2019 after a 29- year rule. The deposed dictator had waged a merciless war against the people of Darfur since 2003.
The conflict started when rebel groups took up arms in Darfur, accusing the Arab-dominated Bashir government of marginalizing the western region and oppressing its people.
The repression was fatal. The army retaliated, joined by the infamous Janjaweed militia, often accused of entering villages, killing men and raping women. Hundreds of thousands of people have been exterminated. Torture, rape and abduction have become frequent, forcing at least two million people to leave their homes for the major cities in the region or to flee abroad. Tens of thousands of Darfuris have attempted to cross the Mediterranean to seek refuge in Europe.
Massacres continue today
Throughout the war and until the fall of Bashir, access to Darfur was tightly controlled. It was almost impossible for journalists to work there freely. For four years, our correspondents in the region tried to obtain authorization to go there. They finally did so in January and were able to cross Darfur for several days. During this report, they came to a terrifying conclusion: despite the fall of the dictator, the violence has not stopped and the massacres continue.
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