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Thursday May 30, 2024

Sudan: Rights groups call for investigation against war crimes


Nepalnews
ANI
2023 Aug 01, 11:45, Khartoum [Sudan]
Sudanese in Darfur region use pieces of plastic to cover themselves from the rain at a refugee camp in Adre, Chad July 30, 2023. (Photo: ANI)

Both sides in the Sudanese conflict have been charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes, according to a collection of Sudanese rights and professional organisations.

The group has demanded an inquiry by the International Criminal Court in a letter sent to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, according to Voice of America (VOA).

Both the Sudan Armed Forces and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces are charged with violating human rights against civilians in Sudan's Darfur area and elsewhere more than 30 rights organisations and professional bodies in the country.

In a joint statement issued Saturday, the rights groups demanded an immediate investigation into the alleged violations and for the referral of the matter to the International Criminal Court through the United Nations Security Council, VOA reported.

Nafisa Hajar, the deputy chairman of the Darfur Bar Association, told VOA that her organisation has evidence of a number of attacks and breaches, including mass executions, ethnic cleansing, and forced evictions, which she claimed would constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity.

She said, given that the judicial system of Sudan is now paralyzed due to the ongoing war, the international community should take action to bring the perpetrators to a court of law, VOA reported.

Hajar said right now there are continued airstrikes on civilian buildings, civilians are forcefully displaced from their homes, and women are being systematically raped. All these atrocities, she said, should be counted as war crimes.

On July 13, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan, announced the opening of a new investigation regarding allegations of war crimes in the context of the war in Sudan, especially in the city of El Geneina in West Darfur state.

Hajar said the motive behind the filed petition is to help the victims and to prevent the continued impunity of the alleged perpetrators, VOA reported.

She said both the army and the RSF deserve to be investigated.

Hajar said at the moment there are serious violations of all treaties and agreements that call for the protection of civilians. She said the rights of Sudanese civilians are now being violated by both warring parties.

Sudanese lawyer Abdul Basit Al Haj criticized the Sudan Armed Forces for failing to protect civilians in El Geneina during RSF attacks in the city and elsewhere in Sudan, VOA reported.

Speaking to VOA, Al Haj said the RSF has been attacking hospitals, occupying them, targeting doctors in Khartoum, and committing genocide and ethnic cleansing of non-Arab groups, specifically the Masalit ethnic group in West Darfur state.

“They are occupying civilians’ houses,” he said. “They occupy hospitals, schools, universities, and destroy all these buildings. ... According to the definition of war crimes, these are war crimes or crimes against humanity.”

Sudan Army spokesperson Nabeel Abdallah distanced the military from these atrocities, saying “all” were committed by the RSF.

“They took over the homes of citizens in Khartoum by force and turned them into military barracks," Abdallah told VOA.

VOA reached out to the RSF commander's special adviser for foreign affairs, Ibrahim Mukhayer, for a comment, but received no immediate reply.

War broke out between the army and the Rapid Support Forces on April 15. The conflict has since forced some 3.5 million people to flee their homes, including 844,000 who have gone to neighbouring countries in search of safety, according to the United Nations.

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Khartoum Sudan crime humanity war crimes International Criminal Court UN Antonio Guterres UNSC
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