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Press briefing notes Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Sudan: Plight of civilians amid hostilities

28 April 2023

Sudanese people, who fled the violence in their country and newly arrived, wait to be registered at the camp near the border between Sudan and Chad in Adre, Chad April 26, 2023. © REUTERS/Mahamat Ramadane

Delivered by

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Ravina Shamdasani



Two weeks after the fighting erupted between the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) – imposing fear, deprivation, trauma and suffering on the civilian population – the human rights situation in Sudan continues to dramatically deteriorate.

Hundreds of thousands of people have fled their homes to find places of greater safety, at any cost, and have been facing abuses en route. Thousands remain trapped in residential areas where fighting has been taking place, facing air strikes, shelling and the use of heavy weapons, trying to use any period of calm to reach places of relative safety. People also continue to be forced from their homes by the RSF and suffer looting, extortion, acute shortages of food, water, electricity, fuel, limited access to healthcare, limited communication and limited cash due to the closure of banks.

While a welcome ceasefire meant some reprieve in the fighting, clashes continue to be reported in densely populated areas of Khartoum, Bahri, Omdurman and towns in Darfur and North Kordofan. We are concerned at the serious risk of violence escalating in West Darfur as the hostilities between the RSF and SAF have triggered intercommunal violence. In El Geneina, West Darfur, deadly ethnic clashes have been reported, with an estimated 96 people killed since 24 April.

It is deeply alarming that inmates have been released from, or escaped from, a number of prisons. We are very worried about the prospect of further violence, amid a generalized climate of impunity.

We call on the parties to immediately end hostilities, and in particular to halt hostilities in residential areas and to cease targeting the civilian population and infrastructure. The protection of civilians must be paramount. International humanitarian law demands it.

Following decades of repression, armed conflict and deprivation, the people of Sudan must not be subjected to further violations of their fundamental human rights. We call on all those with influence to use every possible means to de-escalate the situation and to stand in solidarity with the Sudanese people in their demands for a peaceful and democratic future.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk underscores the deep yearning and determination for freedom of the Sudanese people – who overthrew a military dictatorship of 30 years and resisted the subsequent military takeover with great courage. It is unfathomable that once again force is being used against them. The guns must be silenced and reason must prevail.

For more information and media requests, please contact:

In Geneva

Ravina Shamdasani - + 41 22 917 9169 / [email protected] or
Liz Throssell + 41 22 917 9296 / [email protected] or
Marta Hurtado - + 41 22 917 9466 / [email protected]

In Nairobi

Seif Magango - +254 788 343 897 / [email protected]

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