The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) laments that “this Friday, Sudan will mark five months of futility. Five months of futile suffering, death, loss, and destruction.” Addressing the 54th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, UNHCHR Volker Türk, told the council that since the conflict began, the people of Sudan have been caught up in an endless cycle of violence generated by the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
“There is no reprieve in sight. My staff travelled to Chad and Ethiopia in June and July to gather first-hand information from people who had fled the violence in Sudan. Their testimonies underscore the information my office has obtained on the scale and brutality of this conflict. We heard stories of family members being killed or raped. Stories of their relatives being arrested, without reason. Of disappeared loved ones. Of piles of abandoned bodies in the streets. Of desperate, lingering hunger,” Türk told the council.
He says that the Sudanese are experiencing “a level of fear and uncertainty for their future unfelt before, despite the decades of turmoil in which Sudan has been embroiled”.
At least 1,500 civilians have been killed, according to the Ministry of Health. The actual figure is likely much higher.
‘This horrific conflict must stop before it is too late to pull Sudan back from disaster’
Türk underlines that “more than 5.1 million are uprooted from their homes. More than one million are seeking refuge in neighbouring countries. The conflict has paralysed the economy, pushing millions to the brink of poverty. It has brought essential services in areas affected by fighting – such as education and healthcare-almost to a halt. More than 7.4 million children are without safe drinking water and at least 700,000 are at risk of severe acute malnutrition.
“And, despite repeated promises by both sides to investigate the serious human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law, the silence has been deafening, with nobody held to account.”
He says it is time for the two generals to cease the violence, to return to political talks, and to comply at once with their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law.
“This horrific conflict must stop before it is too late to pull Sudan back from disaster.”