Explosive violence by the Rapid Support Forces

The Rapid Support Forces (RSF), led by General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (commonly known as Hemedti), emerged from the Janjaweed militias which helped the Sudanese military put down a rebellion in the 2000s. Their collaboration with the military continued evolving, from acting as border guards to supporting the military in Yemen, until in 2017 the RSF were legally recognised as an independent security force. After the ousting of dictator Omar al-Bashir in 2019, Hemedti entered into a power-sharing agreement within a ruling council headed by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the Commander in Chief of the Sudanese armed forces. The two carried out a coup in 2021, halting the transition to a democratic government, but growing tension between them erupted into a full-scale civil war in April 2023. ​​
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Over the past decade (2014-2023), AOAV has recorded 20 incidents of explosive weapons use attributed to the RSF, all of which occurred in Sudan. The RSF are the reported perpetrators of 386 civilian casualties (163 killed), and one armed actor fatality. ​​
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Ground-launched weapons account for 90% (349) of civilian casualties attributed to the RSF, in particular artillery shelling (212 civilian casualties), non-specific shelling (60), RPGs (54), ground-launched missiles (10), ground-launched rockets (7), and mortars (6). ​​
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The majority of civilian casualties were recorded in RSF attacks on urban residential areas, which account for 52% (200) of civilian casualties. Other locations impacted by attacks attributed to the RSF include markets (115 civilian casualties), public gatherings (29), multiple urban areas (28), hospitals (9), encampments (4), and transport related infrastructure (1).