UNCHR: situation in Gezira ”very difficult”


Sudan Events – Agencies

The Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, has expressed grave concern about reports of widespread violations during recent days in fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces in Wad Madani, Al Gezira State.
Since last Friday, Gezira State – central Sudan, has entered the line of ongoing battles between the regular army and the Rapid Support Militia for its ninth month, after the militia attacked the capital, Wad Madani, and other cities, and the situation there continues to worsen day after day.
Turk said, in a press statement, that the humanitarian situation unfolding in the entire Gezira state, which hosts nearly half a million displaced people, is very difficult.
He pointed to reports that dozens of civilians, including medical workers, were killed, and many others were injured in Wad Madani between the 15th and 19th of this month. He said some attacks were allegedly motivated by ethnic motivations.
The UN official stated that reports also indicate acts of mutilation and looting, in addition to an attack on a hospital. It was reported that both sides arrested dozens of people, including individuals detained on the basis of ethnicity and tribal affiliations, while at least 250,000 people were displaced.
The UN official urged both the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces to respect international humanitarian law and human rights. He said that on both sides of the conflict, civilians and civilian objects were protected. He added that attacks targeting civilians, including those with special protection status such as medical and hospital workers, are prohibited.
He also stressed the need for both parties to the conflict to protect relief workers and human rights defenders, whose work is extremely important in such difficult circumstances, and for both sides to ensure that civilians receive the humanitarian assistance they need – according to the statement.

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