A group of 50 human rights organizations sounded the alarm Tuesday over the ongoing Sudan conflict’s severe humanitarian impact and called on the UN to take decisive action. The organizations released their statement as the UN Security Council met to discuss the ongoing situation in Sudan and South Sudan.
The organizations are urging a unified approach to Sudan as the country faces a devastating conflict between its government and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF). There has been an increase in sexual violence and attacks against civilians across Sudan.
According to the joint statement, “Over five million people have been forced to flee their homes since April, with many living in camps with limited access to humanitarian assistance and limited educational opportunities. Over 20 million people face acute food insecurity, and 6 million are nearing famine.”
The press release further reports that during the atrocities, at least“498 children have died from hunger, and clinics and doctors have been destroyed,” with refugees forced to flee to neighbouring Chad and South Sudan. Tribal conflicts in Darfur are also rife, and medical facilities have been devastated in Sudan’s capital Khartoum.
The group called on the UN to increase humanitarian funding to Sudan and to pass a resolution aimed at “challeng[ing] the climate of impunity” in the conflict.
The statement has been signed by the likes of the Public International Law & Policy Group, Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council and Kyle Matthews from the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies at Concordia University who spoke directly to JURIST, saying:
Sudan is at a breaking point and civilians are facing escalating threats of atrocity crimes. While the world is focused on Ukraine, it is imperative that political attention and resources are dedicated to ensuring the people of Sudan are safeguarded from all forms of mass violence. The country has a history of large-scale human rights abuses, giving us all an ominous warning of what can transpire in the days and weeks ahead.
This comes as United Nations human rights chief Volker Turk stated on Tuesday that ethnically motivated attacks perpetrated by the RSF and allied militia have killed hundreds in the West Darfur region. The UK said last month that it would provide the UN and International Criminal Court (ICC) with evidence for war crimes investigations in Sudan, and the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) took action to extend and redesignate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nationals of Sudan due to ongoing armed conflicts in the country, alongside the citizens of Ukraine.