Sudan Accused of Rape, Sexual Violence, and War Crimes, UN States

Sudan Accused of Rape, Sexual Violence, and War Crimes, UN

Sudan Accused of Rape, Sexual Violence, and War Crimes, UN

A new report from the U.N. human rights office reveals that numerous individuals, including children, have fallen victim to rape and other forms of sexual violence in Sudan amid the ongoing conflict. The report suggests that these attacks may be considered war crimes. Sudan has been in turmoil since mid-April, with clashes erupting in the capital, Khartoum, between the country’s army, led by General Abdel Fattah Burhan, and the paramilitary faction known as the Rapid Support Forces, under the command of General Mohammed Hamdan Daglo.

The conflict quickly spread across the nation, claiming the lives of at least 12,000 people and displacing over 8 million from their homes. The report, covering the period from the onset of fighting to December 15, documents a range of abuses, including sexual violence and the recruitment of child soldiers, primarily by paramilitary forces.

According to the UN, at least 118 people, mostly targeted by paramilitary forces, were victims of sexual violence, including rape, occurring in homes and on the streets. One woman was reported to have endured repeated gang rapes over 35 days while detained in a building. The report emphasizes that some of these violations could amount to war crimes, urging prompt, thorough, and independent investigations into allegations of abuse and human rights violations.

The conflict in Sudan has been challenging to monitor due to limited access for aid groups and rights monitors, with the impact overshadowed by other global conflicts. The report is based on interviews with over 300 victims and witnesses, some conducted in neighboring countries such as Ethiopia and Chad, where many Sudanese have sought refuge. Analysis of photographs, videos, and satellite images from conflict zones also contributed to the findings.

Despite the period under review, the UN notes that the ravages of war persist, citing a recent video showing individuals in Sudanese army uniforms carrying severed heads of members of a rival paramilitary faction. The human rights chief, Volker Türk, emphasized the urgent need to silence the guns, protect civilians, and address the ongoing suffering and despair caused by the conflict. The report comes amid a call from the UN Secretary-General for a diplomatic resolution, emphasizing that a military solution will not bring an end to the Sudanese conflict.

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