Political Reports

SIHA and UN SC Resolution 1325 could they mitigate war crimes impacts on Sudanese women?

Sudan Events – Sumaya Sayed

Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA), urged the UN Security Council to launch an investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Sudan six months ago, based on the principle of universal jurisdiction and on the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 adopted in 2000 by the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) to improve the protection of women and girls during conflicts and recognise their leadership and unique roles in peace processes.

Al Karib, the Regional Director of (SIHA), made her plea at the United Nations Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace, and Security on end of October.

During her address, Al Karib urged the Security Council to take decisive action to pursue accountability for the grave offenses committed during the ongoing conflict. She called on the Council members to initiate independent and impartial investigations based on the principle of universal jurisdiction.

The plea was clear: “Hold all parties accountable for any acts of sexual violence and strengthen the existing sanctions regime to include sexual and gender-based violence as a stand-alone designation criterion.”

The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) stated that he is investigating fresh allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Darfur region.

However, the ICC mandate, in line with resolution 1593 of 2005, is restricted to the Darfur region, while war crimes and crimes against humanity have also been committed in Khartoum, as Sudanese advocacy activists point out.

SIHA further painted a grim picture of the war’s consequences, noting that millions of women have lost their livelihoods and savings, leading to limited access to food and essential healthcare. Women and children, who make up most of the displaced population, are in dire need of humanitarian assistance.

SIHA Director has also underscored the challenges faced in delivering this aid due to a lack of funding, denial of humanitarian access, and security and administrative obstacles imposed by the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF). Al Karib also highlighted the unfortunate reality that humanitarian delivery rarely incorporates the perspectives of women, despite their pivotal role in the response efforts.

SIHA director emphasized the need to end all violence targeting civilians, ensure the safe passage of civilians, and put a halt to the destruction of critical civilian infrastructure. Her words carried a weight of urgency, imploring the international community to take swift and resolute action in the face of a humanitarian crisis that cannot be ignored.

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