from RAJI BASHIR in Khartoum, Sudan
KHARTOUM, (CAJ News) – AMID rising sexual violence, widespread deliberate and indiscriminate attacks on civilians, journalists and human rights defenders being silenced, Sudan is no longer at the precipice of mass atrocities.
It has fallen over the edge.
The heads of over 50 human rights and humanitarian organisations have come together to sound the alarm about Sudan, where fighting started in April after years of tension.
Since then, when open hostilities broke out in the capital, Khartoum, more than 5 million people have been forced to flee their homes. Hundreds of thousands of others may soon be forced to join them.
Many are now living in camps with limited access to humanitarian assistance, few educational opportunities for their children, and almost no psychosocial support to help them cope with their traumatic experiences.
Inside Sudan, over 20 million people, 42 percent of the country’s population, now face acute food insecurity and 6 million are just on the verge of famine.
At least 498 children have died from hunger. Clinics and doctors have come under fire throughout the country, putting 80 percent of the country’s major hospitals out of service.
Hate speech, especially language urging the targeting of communities based on the colour of their skin, is rising.
“With an increasingly fractured social fabric, some fighters targeting civilians based on their ethnicity, and accounts from sexual violence survivors in Darfur who heard their rapists tell them that we hope you bear “our” babies – we fear the worst,” the human rights groups said.
They decried this coming 20 years after the horrors of Darfur came to light.
Meanwhile, thus far, mediation efforts have not deterred Sudan’s warring parties from continuing to commit abuses.
“We urge a more unified approach that better represents the voices and perspectives of Sudan’s civilians, including women, youth, and representatives from the historically marginalized ‘periphery’.”
The United Nations humanitarian appeal remains severely underfunded, at about 25 percent.
In addition, Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) continue to undermine efforts to deliver aid safely.
The humanitarian groups have appealed to donors to step up funding, both for local and international organisations who are providing assistance in Sudan and neighboring countries.
– CAJ News