Violent dispersal of civilians to pave way for occupation
CIR has verified three incidents where the RSF have used violent dispersion tactics in residential areas to intimate and instil fear in residents.
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Incident 1: 3 June 2023, Alfirdous East
In this video, posted on 3 June 2023, civilians can been seen fleeing in panic from gunfire from RSF soldiers (Figure 1). CIR’s analysts have identified the soldiers as RSF using the patches, and uniforms on the individuals in the video. Using landmarks in the footage (shown in the coloured boxes in Figure 2 below), CIR investigators were able to geolocate this footage to a densely populated area close to the Tahnoun school in Alfirdous East.
Figure 1: Gunfire causing panic at Tahnoun school [15.552150, 32.593182]
Figure 2: Geolocation of gunfire at Tahnoun school [15.552150, 32.593182]
Incident 2: 4 June 2023, Al-Hilla Al-Jadida, Khartoum
In another video circulated on 4 June 2023, an RSF soldier with a light machine gun can be seen firing indiscriminately into a residential apartment block in the Al-Hilla Al-Jadida area in Khartoum (Figure 3). The soldier was identified as RSF using the uniform, camouflage patterns, and equipment used.
The description of the video stated that the area was close to Rumayla roundabout on Al Shajara Avenue. A further comment on social media noted it was Alrowad residential complex. After finding multiple high-rise complexes in the area, CIR investigators locating the billboard seen in the footage and matched the trees and windows in the complex to verify the location (Figure 4).
Figure 3: An RSF soldier shooting into a residential complex [15.566268,32.523545]
Figure 4: Geolocation of RSF shooting at residential complex [15.566268,32.523545]
Incident 3: 26 June 2023, Haj Yousef, East Nile
In this footage, the RSF are seen occupying a street reported to be in Haj Yousef, East Nile (Figure 5, exact location not verified). According to a reliable source on the ground, the incident took place on 26 June 2023. When they see that they are being watched by residents, one soldier brandishes his rifle and begins to shoot in the general direction of the residents. A woman close to the camera’s point of view is heard saying ‘Khishu’ which translates to ‘get inside’.
Figure 5: RSF soldiers shooting at civilians in Haj Yousef. Location unknown.
The pattern seen here is of violent dispersion tactics being used to intimidate the population. Videos circulating online of RSF occupying, looting, and destroying interiors of residential properties indicate that they are aiming to clear the area that they intend on occupying. However, this has been difficult to verify due to the challenges of geolocating interiors of residential homes. Widespread looting has been observed during the conflict (Al Arabiya, Reuters) making it reasonable to assume that once an area has been cleared, looting and occupation occur in a context of lessened civilian resistance.