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UN rights chief cautions over conflict in Sudan

By Sudantribune

April 16, 2024

Credits @FFHR.CZ

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk expressed grave concern on Monday regarding a potential escalation of violence in Sudan.

The escalation stems from the involvement of the Sudan Liberation Movements led by Minawi Arkaoui, the Justice and Equality Movement led by Jibril Ibrahim, and other Darfur factions. These groups have reportedly joined forces with the Sudanese army in their fight against the RSF, particularly in North Darfur.

“The situation in Sudan is increasingly precarious,” Türk said in a statement marking the one-year anniversary of the conflict, received by Sudan Tribune.

“We are deeply concerned about the potential for further violence, with reports of civilians being armed by both sides and the addition of more armed groups to the fighting,” he added.

The High Commissioner specifically highlighted the involvement of three armed groups joining the government forces. Additionally, reports suggest the army and RSF are arming civilians.

“A peaceful resolution requires a decrease, not an increase, in the number of armed actors,” Türk emphasized.

He urged all parties involved to prioritize de-escalation and work towards a peaceful resolution.

This includes reversing steps that limit the participation of civilian political leaders, such as the threat of arrest against former Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and other leaders of the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) coalition.

“The Sudanese authorities must immediately lift the arrest warrants against Mr. Hamdok and other civilian leaders,” Mr. Türk stated. “Building trust is essential. A ceasefire should be the first step, followed by a comprehensive solution to the conflict and the restoration of civilian rule.”

The UN official expressed further concerns regarding reports of torture of civilians by both sides. He called for unrestricted access for humanitarian workers to deliver aid to those in need and urged all parties to respect international humanitarian and human rights law.

This, he said, includes investigating violations and holding perpetrators accountable.

Türk concluded by condemning the ongoing crackdown on civil society, human rights defenders, journalists and others.

He further called for an end to arbitrary arrests, detentions and intimidation tactics.


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