UN Official Raises Alarm About Potential War Crimes and Use of Rape as a Weapon in Sudan | Conflict Alert

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The United Nations human rights chief has condemned the deliberate denial of safe access for humanitarian agencies in Sudan as a potential war crime. In a statement to the UN Human Rights Council, Volker Turk, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, described Sudan as a “living nightmare” with almost half of the population in urgent need of food and medical aid. He noted that the ongoing crisis in Sudan has led to violations of international humanitarian law that may amount to war crimes or other atrocity crimes.
The conflict in Sudan, which has been ongoing since April last year, has resulted in thousands of deaths, millions of displacements, and warnings of famine. Turk highlighted the use of heavy artillery in densely populated urban areas by both the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and the Sudanese army. He called on the warring parties to open humanitarian corridors without delay to prevent further loss of life.
Turk also raised concerns about sexual violence as a weapon of war in Sudan, noting that women and girls have been the primary victims. Incidents of conflict-related sexual violence, including rape, have been documented across the country, with the RSF being responsible for a majority of the cases. The panel of experts reported widespread sexual violence by the RSF and its allied militia, including rape, kidnapping, and racial slurs directed towards specific communities.
Turk emphasized the need for accountability for perpetrators of human rights violations and urged the international community to refocus its attention on the crisis in Sudan before it deteriorates further. He called for swift action to address the crisis and ensure the safety and well-being of the people of Sudan.

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