May 22, 2024

Armed Conflict Erupts in Sudan’s Capital City, Causing Civilian Deaths and Destruction

Sudan has been plunged into a new round of violence as armed conflict erupted between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in the capital city of Khartoum on April 15. The use of heavy weaponry, including artillery, tanks, and jet aircraft, in densely populated areas has caused numerous civilian deaths and massive destruction of property.

Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East and Southern Africa Tigere Chagutah has called on the parties to the conflict to stop using explosive weapons with wide area effects in the vicinity of concentrations of civilians. The organization has also urged Sudan’s regional and international partners, including the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), African Union, and UN, to publicly call on the parties to respect international humanitarian law and protect civilians.

Dozens of civilian casualties have been reported across the country since the outbreak of violence, including the deaths of three World Food Programme (WFP) employees in North Darfur. The ongoing conflict comes after weeks of tensions between the RSF and SAF over security force reform during negotiations for a new transitional government. The RSF and SAF jointly overthrew Sudan’s previous transitional government in October 2021.

In response to the escalating violence, Amnesty International has also called on the UN Security Council to hold an emergency meeting and publicly call on the SAF and RSF to protect civilians as a matter of priority. Furthermore, Sudan’s authorities and all parties to the conflict have been urged to ensure that there is immediate, unrestricted, and sustained access for humanitarian actors to monitor and assess the needs of civilians and deliver assistance to them.

The conflict in Sudan has resulted in the loss of innocent lives and the displacement of thousands of people. It is imperative that all parties to the conflict ensure the protection of civilians and respect international humanitarian law. Sudan’s regional and international partners must continue to exert pressure on the parties to end the violence and work towards a peaceful resolution of the conflict.

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