GG News Bureau
UNITED NATIONS, 13th Sept. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk on Tuesday said that hundreds have died in ethnically motivated attacks by Sudan’s paramilitary Rapid Support Forces and allied militia in West Darfur.
Volker Türk said “Such developments echo a horrific past that must not be repeated,” marked “five months of futile suffering, death, loss and destruction.”
He warned the mounting civilian casualties, as 1500 have lost their lives to what he called a pointless conflict.
Turk highlighted the increase in indiscriminate attacks on civilians and civilian areas, including schools, homes and hospitals.
Over 103 civilians have been killed during military operations by both parties in Khartoum and Omdurman, including many women and children.
Radhouane Nouicer, the UN’s human rights expert in Sudan said “People are being killed inside their homes or when running to safety”.
The essential services have been brought to a halt in areas affected by fighting and the paralysis of the economy has pushed millions to the brink of poverty.
UN stressed that five million have been uprooted from their homes and one million are seeking refuge in neighbouring countries.
“There is no reprieve in sight,” said Mr. Türk.
Mr. Türk said he was “repulsed to hear of the ongoing epidemic of conflict-related sexual violence,” as over 45 incidents with nearly 100 victims, including 19 children, were reported to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
According to the data, the majority of perpetrators – around 78 per cent – have been men in RSF uniform or armed men affiliated with the RSF.
UN Women called for every instance of sexual and gender based violence to be investigated, without any impunity.
OHCHR have reported an increase in allegations from both sides of torture and killing of people outside combat.
Mr. Türk said that “hundreds – and likely thousands – are being held incommunicado in appalling conditions.”
He deplored the widespread cases of arbitrary detention,
Mr. Nouicer reported a “total disregard for international law and its principles” and cited violations to international law both by the Sudanese Armed Forces and the RSF.
Mr. Türk said that “the silence has been deafening, with nobody held to account.”
He said promises have been made by both sides to investigate allegations,
“It is time that the perpetrators of these gross violations are identified” and investigated, he insisted.
The access to areas affected by the fighting limited and humanitarian efforts are “callously blocked, denied-and directly attacked.”
WHO has documented 56 attacks on healthcare facilities.
According to the UN, Sudan is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for humanitarian workers, with 19 lives lost and several missing.
Many states, including Egypt – one of the largest hosts of Sudanese refugees – have repeatedly called for a ceasefire to allow aid to flow into the country.
Mr. Khalifa Ahmed, Prosecutor General of Sudan, responded to comments by calling on the international community to declare the militia a terrorist organization.
He added that Sudanese authorities were working to “put down the rebellion” and to ensure a ceasefire, humanitarian access and the return of those displaced.
Mr. Nouicer said that the world is “waiting for a revival of international diplomacy,” adding that the conflict “would not end unless there is increased pressure from the international community.”