May, 2024

War in Sudan is ‘a crisis of epic proportions’ as atrocities abound

Sudan/ United Nations Media Release: The Sudanese people have endured “unbearable suffering” since the conflict started just over a year ago when an outbreak of fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) “brutally interrupted the political transition”, Rosemary DiCarlo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, said.

“This is a crisis of epic proportions; it is also wholly man-made,” she told ambassadors, stressing that both parties have failed to protect civilians.

Over 14,000 people have been killed and tens of thousands wounded, half the country’s population – 25 million people – need lifesaving assistance and more than 8.6 million people have been forced to flee their homes, including 1.8 million refugees.

Widespread atrocities

Allegations of atrocities abound,” she said, citing reports of widespread use of sexual violence as a weapon of war, of the recruitment of children by parties to the conflict and of extensive use of torture and prolonged arbitrary detention by both parties.

She said the UN stands ready to redouble efforts with its multilateral partners – including the African Union, Intergovernmental Authority for Development, the League of Arab States and key Member States and partners – to help end hostilities and foster inclusive and effective international mediation.

She said the UN Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy, Ramtane Lamamra, has engaged with national, regional and international stakeholders to promote the coordination of mediation initiatives, and the recent humanitarian conference in Paris emphasised the need for unity of purpose and action to end the fighting in Sudan.

At the same time, all warring parties must uphold their obligations under international law and adhere to the Jeddah Declaration of Commitment to Protect the Civilians of Sudan, Ms. DiCarlo said, calling on all actors to exercise maximum restraint and avoid further bloodshed.

However the rival armies have been able to keep fighting in no small part thanks to the material support they receive from outside the Sudan, she said, adding that these external actors continue to flout the Council’s sanctions regime to support a political settlement and to fuel the conflict.

This is illegal, it is immoral and it must stop,” she said. “At this critical moment, in addition to global support for aid, we need to redouble our efforts to achieve peace in the Sudan.”

Decades of development wiped out

Yet, the ongoing year-long war has already set Sudan back several decades, he said, adding that “it will take more than a generation to rebuild Sudan to its pre-war state.”

He said the war has also led to egregious violations of international human rights law, international humanitarian law and the laws governing the conduct of war.

“It must end,” he said, emphasising that the Jeddah process must speedily recommence with the full participation of the African Union to bring about an unconditional ceasefire to end Sudan’s suffering.

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