from RAJI BASHIR in Khartoum, Sudan
KHARTOUM, (CAJ News) – DESPAIR and violence are prevailing over in Sudan as recent discussions in Jeddah have not resulted in a ceasefire.
Non-stop, brutal and targeted attacks on civilians are among the main features of this war that erupted early this year.
“A devastating humanitarian crisis is developing right in front of our eyes,” said Patrick Youssef, regional director for Africa at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
He has just returned from Sudan, where he met representatives of the government and the Rapid Support Forces.
“Our message is clear: these attacks must stop,” Youssef said.
“Weapons bring power. But that power imposes a responsibility on the warring parties – indeed, an obligation – to respect and protect the civilian population, as required by international humanitarian law.”
This war has resulted in thousands of deaths and forced almost 7 million people to flee the fighting.
There are desperate shortages of food and water.
The price of a standard food basket has risen by 60 percent since April, leaving some 20 million people facing acute food insecurity.
In Darfur, western Sudan, fighting has reached critical levels, affecting the populated areas of the main towns: Al Jeneina, Nyala and Zalingei.
Military operations are affecting the functioning of hospitals and depriving people of electricity and telecommunications.
At the request of the parties to the conflict, ICRC has returned over 60 prisoners to their families in Nyala, southern Darfur.
ICRC is advocating for a neutral, impartial humanitarian environment, and to provide aid that will truly meet people’s needs.
“History has shown that if belligerents comply with the laws of war, there is more hope of peace and reconciliation,” Youssef said.
– CAJ News