Sudan's warring sides committing horrific abuses, UN report says

Both Sudanese military and Rapid Support Forces recruiting child soldiers

Paramilitary Rapid Support Forces fighters in the East Nile district of greater Khartoum. AFP
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The UN's top human rights body on Friday condemned the “horrific violations and abuses” committed by the Sudanese military and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces during the ongoing civil war.

A new UN report – based on interviews with 303 victims and witnesses and contains videos, photographs and satellite imagery – stated that the army and RSF have “used explosive weapons with wide area effects, such as missiles fired from fighter jets, unmanned aerial vehicles, anti-aircraft weapons and artillery shells in densely populated areas”.

The report also accused the RSF of using human shields.

It described incidents in the capital Khartoum in which dozens of people were arrested and held outside near RSF military posts to deter air strikes by Sudanese fighter jets.

“For nearly a year now, accounts coming out of Sudan have been of death, suffering and despair, as the senseless conflict and human rights violations and abuses have persisted with no end in sight,” UN human rights chief Volker Turk said in a statement after the release of the report.

“Some of these violations would amount to war crimes.

“The guns must be silenced and civilians must be protected.”

The report also found that at least 118 people had been subjected to sexual violence, with many of the assaults committed by members of the paramilitary forces.

One woman, the UN said, “was held in a building and repeatedly gang raped over a period of 35 days”.

Both sides have also recruited child soldiers, the report added.

Mr Turk called for “prompt, thorough, effective, transparent, independent and impartial investigations” and for those responsible to be brought to justice.

Last month, International Criminal Court chief prosecutor Karim Khan told the UN Security Council that there is evidence that Rome Statute crimes – which include genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes – are being committed in Sudan.

The civil war in Sudan broke out on April 15 last year over disputes about the blueprint for a political transition and the integration of the RSF into the military after the removal of former leader Omar Al Bashir.

The conflict has persisted despite numerous international attempts to broker a ceasefire.

Fighting has killed thousands and displaced nearly eight million people, according to the UN.

Sudan's army chief says war crimes are being committed in country – video

Sudan's army chief says war crimes are being committed in country

Sudan's army chief says war crimes are being committed in country
Updated: February 23, 2024, 3:40 PM