Human Lives Human Rights:
It has been over three weeks since the fight erupted in Sudan between the Rapid Support Forces and the Sudanese Armed Forces.
Since the conflict began, hundreds of civilians have been killed and thousands injured, including women and children. The crisis has also resulted in forcible displacement of hundreds of thousands of people.
On ground reports have indicated that civilians of all ages are experiencing various human rights abuses, including sexual assault and gender-based violence, as well as looting and shortages of food, water, healthcare, including reproductive healthcare, fuel and other basic goods and services, and collapse in communication channels.
Densely populated residential areas of Khartoum, Bahri, Omdurman and towns in Darfur and North Kordofan are facing electricity cuts, a lack of healthcare and basic services, while running out of food, water and medicines.
Some infrastructure and services, including 11 hospitals have collapsed due to attacks. A shelter for girls with disabilities in Khartoum was shelled leading to the death of a girl and injuring another. A shelter for older women in Khartoum was reportedly also damaged.
Local and international humanitarian personnel, including healthcare workers and facilities providing health care, food assistance, protection and other life-saving services have been the victims of what appear to be both targeted and indiscriminate attacks.
Reports of violence against those working tirelessly to address the unprecedented scale of human suffering in Sudan, as well as those working to shed light on the situation are quite disturbing.
The targeting of journalists and intimidation and threatening of human rights defenders, including women human rights defenders in Darfur and Khartoum, has impinged their ability to monitor and document the situation on the ground, contributing to an information blackout.
Rights groups have raised concern about women and children – who are at an increased risk of trafficking, people with disabilities and older persons as families are being separated while fleeing escalating hostilities.
Before the crisis, Sudan already had 3.7 million internally displaced persons in the country, in addition to hosting over 1 million refugees. Due to the violent outbreak, about 334,000 people are estimated to have been newly displaced within Sudan, and over 120,000 people have fled to neighboring countries, according to UNHCR.
There is an urgent need for an immediate and sustained ceasefire followed by a resumption of political negotiations to move toward a civilian-led government.
We call on all parties to the conflict to immediately halt hostilities, de-escalate the situation and allow for unimpeded access, inclusive and extensive humanitarian operations to relieve suffering and provide life-saving protection and a pathway to sustainable peace and development.
Parties to the conflict must respect their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law to ensure the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure including schools and hospitals, and publicly commit to protect humanitarian personnel, premises and assets.
We also urge businesses to exercise heightened human rights due diligence to identify and address any potential adverse impacts on human rights and on the conflict.