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Since Sudan gained independence 1956, more than 2.5 million Sudanese have been killed as a result of brutal conflicts, including two civil wars that resulted in the breaking away in 2011 of what is now South Sudan. From 2003–2005, the government of Sudan under President Omar al-Bashir, with the help of the Janjaweed Arab militias, committed genocide in the region of Darfur. Targeting non-Arab ethnic groups, they killed more than 200,000 people and displaced more than 2 million. In 2019, al-Bashir, charged by the International Criminal Court with genocide, was removed from power in a military coup and replaced with a transitional government. In 2021 that transitional government was overthrown by the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), which evolved from the Janjaweed militias. In April 2023, tensions between the leaders of the SAF and RSF exploded into war. More than 10,000 people have been killed in a conflict which has also displaced more than 6 million and reignited a campaign of ethnically-targeted violence by the RSF in Darfur.

  • This January 2024 policy brief outlines mass atrocities committed since the outbreak of the conflict in Sudan in April 2023. It focuses particularly on the region of Darfur, which experienced genocide 20 years ago. The brief details widespread, systematic, and ethnically-targeted crimes committed by the Rapid Support Forces and allied militias in Darfur, and ongoing risks facing civilians across Sudan. It offers policy options to halt these crimes, support accountability and documentation efforts, and protect civilians.

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  • The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is deeply concerned about the dire risk of genocide in Darfur, Sudan. Twenty years after the Museum first warned of genocide there, this June 2023 warning should galvanize the world to prioritize the protection of those vulnerable to attack. 

  • This downloadable flyer provides background information on the mass atrocity crimes being committed against civilians in Sudan, and the current risk of genocide.

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  • Our quantitative assessment, from the Early Warning Project, estimates the risk of mass killing in Sudan over the next year.

  • Discover what led to the violence in the mid-2000s and the international response.

  • The Museum led a bearing witness trip to southern Sudan in 2010 as it prepared for the referendum on independence.

  • View photos and a firsthand report by photojournalist Pete Muller on his 2012 visit to border areas between Sudan and South Sudan.

  • Read a speech by Holocaust survivor and Museum founder Elie Wiesel at the 2004 Darfur Emergency Summit.

  • Learn about the 2003-2005 violence in Darfur and the international response in the Museum's Holocaust Encyclopedia.

  • A black and white photo of Sudanese refugees grouped up in a camp

    Hear from individuals who experienced or witnessed the violence and its repercussions firshand.