UN experts issue a joint statement on sexual violence in Sudan


Sudan Events – Follow-ups

Independent experts appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council expressed grave concern on Thursday about the escalation of gender-based violence in Sudan, especially at the hands of the Rapid Support Forces militia.

According to United Nations sources, more than six million people have been forcibly displaced inside and outside the country since the start of fighting between the Rapid Support Militia and the government army, in mid-April.
“We are horrified by reports of the widespread use of gender-based violence, including sexual violence, as a tool of war to subjugate, terrorize, break and punish women and girls, and as a means of punishing specific communities targeted by the Rapid Support Forces and their allied militias,” the experts added.
The RSF (Janjaweed) militia is a notorious militia that operated in Darfur in the first decade of the twenty-first century.
They stressed that sexual violence had also been used against non-Sudanese migrants, refugees and stateless persons during the brutal fight for territory and control.

Last August, independent experts raised concerns about reports of multiple serious violations committed by the Rapid Support Forces in particular.
This included reports of sexual exploitation, slavery, trafficking, rape and acts amounting to enforced disappearance which in some cases may be racially, ethnically and politically motivated, including expressions of opposition to the presence of armed groups.

Since then, reports of forced prostitution and forced marriage of women and girls have also emerged.
The twelve United Nations experts appointed by the Human Rights Council said in their joint statement today that these dangerous acts are no longer concentrated in Khartoum or Darfur, but rather have spread to other parts of the country, such as Kordofan.

They called on the international fact-finding mission in Sudan, which was established by the Human Rights Council last month, to investigate these human rights violations and crimes with the aim of ensuring that their perpetrators are held accountable.

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