The victims, who included members of the ethnic Masalit community, were allegedly killed last month by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and allied militias, the UN human rights office, OHCHR, said, citing reliable information.
Local people were forced to dump the bodies in a mass grave outside the regional capital, El-Geneina, denying those killed a decent burial in one of the city’s cemeteries.
Mr. Türk condemned the killings in the strongest terms and called for those responsible to be held accountable.
Women and children were killed
The RSF and the Sudanese army have been locked in fierce fighting since mid-April. Thousands were killed and injured, and nearly three million people were displaced inside and outside the country.
At least 37 of the bodies were buried on June 20 in a nearly one-meter-deep mass grave in an open area called Al-Turab Al Ahmar, or Red Earth in English.
Another 50 bodies were buried there the next day, including seven women and seven children.
Those buried were killed by the RSF and their allied militia during the period from 13 to 21 June in the districts of Al-Madaress and Al-Jamarek, located in El-Geneina, according to reliable information gathered by OHCHR.
There were many victims of the violence that followed the killing of the Governor of West Darfur, Khamis Abbaker, on 14 June, shortly after he was taken into custody by the RSF. Some died from untreated wounds.
No respect for the dead
The UN rights chief said he was “appalled by the careless and disrespectful way the dead, along with their families and communities, have been treated.”
“There must be a quick, thorough and independent investigation into the killings, and those responsible must be held accountable,” he said.
Mr. Türk called on the RSF and other parties to the conflict to allow and facilitate the search for the dead, their collection and evacuation, in accordance with international law and regardless of ethnic or other differences.
Bodies lying in the streets
OHCHR said witnesses reported that local mediation efforts to access and bury the dead often took too long, leaving many bodies lying on the streets for days.
The family of a Masalit dignitary who was killed on or about 9 June by the RSF and their allies, reportedly had to wait 13 days before being allowed to collect the body.
Witnesses told OHCHR that in cases where the RSF allowed the collection of the dead, after mediation by Arabs and other community leaders, they refused to allow the injured to be taken to hospitals for medical treatment. treatment.
Ensure that the injured receive care
“The leadership of the RSF and their allied militia as well as all parties to an armed conflict are required to ensure that the dead are properly handled, and their dignity is protected,” said Mr. Türk.
In addition, international humanitarian and international human rights law requires all warring parties to ensure that the injured receive medical care.
The High Commissioner called on the leadership of the RSF to immediately and unequivocally condemn and stop the killing of people, and end violence and hate speech based on ethnicity.