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Press briefing notes Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Concerns over the continued devastating impact of the fighting in Sudan on civilians

09 June 2023

Halime Yakoub, a Sudanese refugee woman who fled the violence in Sudan's Darfur region, sits with her children as she talks to journalists, beside her makeshift shelter, near the border between Sudan and Chad in Goungour, Chad May 8, 2023 © REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra


Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Jeremy Laurence



We are concerned by the continued devastating impact of the fighting in Sudan on civilians.

This week alone, an attack striking a busy livestock market in the capital Khartoum left at least eight civilians dead, among them at least three members of the same family. The air strike on Al-Muwaliyyah market on 7 June was allegedly carried out by the Sudan Armed Forces. In another incident on 7 June, a child was reportedly killed after a shell hit his family home in the Al-Shajraa district, in southern Khartoum.

We received reports of the killings of four other civilians in Khartoum on 5 June, and on 4 June at least three civilians, all members of the same family, including a pregnant woman, were reportedly killed. On the same day, airstrikes near the Sport Complex in southern Khartoum hit a refugee centre, reportedly killing at least 10 refugees. No fewer than 71 children have died at an orphanage in Khartoum since the fighting began due to lack of humanitarian assistance, including medical supplies.

We are also concerned by reports of conflict-related sexual violence. Since the fighting began, our Office has received credible reports of 12 incidents of sexual violence related to the conflict, against at least 37 women - although the number could be higher. In at least three incidents, the victims were young girls. In one case, 18 to 20 women were reportedly raped.

Growing reports of apparent enforced disappearance and arbitrary detention are another cause for concern. Journalists are also at heightened risk amid a rise in online hate speech and disinformation. Our Office has learnt of a list circulating on social media accusing certain journalists of being supporters of the RSF. We have observed comments on Facebook calling for the killing of the journalists on the list.

We reiterate the High Commissioner’s call on both parties to the fighting to ensure protection of civilians and respect for international humanitarian law and international human rights law. They must also ensure all violations are effectively and independently investigated and those responsible are held accountable.

For more information and media requests, please contact:

In Geneva

Jeremy Laurence + +41 22 917 9383 / [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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