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Home Breaking War Crimes and Civilian Suffering in Sudan: Amnesty International Report

War Crimes and Civilian Suffering in Sudan: Amnesty International Report

As the conflict in Sudan continues, a leading human rights organisation, Amnesty International, has published a report detailing what it says are extensive war crimes being committed by both parties in the war. The report, titled ‘Death Came To Our Home’: War Crimes and Civilian Suffering in Sudan, sheds light on attacks carried out by the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), causing heavy civilian casualties.

The civil war, which erupted in April, has resulted in thousands of deaths and the displacement of at least 3.3 million people from their homes. Both intentional and indiscriminate attacks on civilians have caused unimaginable horror and suffering.

Amnesty International’s secretary-general, Agnès Callamard, expressed concern about the reckless power struggle between rivals General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (known as Hemedti), which has led to attacks hitting densely populated civilian areas. The conflict has seen people being shot inside their homes and while desperately searching for basic necessities like food, water, and medicine.

The report highlights sexual violence against women and girls, deliberate attacks on civilian installations such as hospitals and churches, and widespread looting. The focus of the report is mainly on the capital, Khartoum, and the West Darfur region, where the death and destruction have raised echoes of past scorched-earth campaigns.

Ethnically motivated fighting has also been reported by rights groups, particularly against the non-Arab Masalit people in the region. The discovery of a mass grave containing the bodies of Masalit victims further indicates the extent of the conflict’s brutality.

Amnesty International documented harrowing cases, including the death of Ala’ al-Mardi, a 26-year-old doctor killed in her home in Omdurman. Her father recounted how she was shot by a bullet that had pierced their living room window. Many other women and girls, some as young as 12, were subjected to sexual violence, including rape, perpetrated by members of the RSF and allied Arab militias.

In response to the report, both the SAF and RSF rejected Amnesty’s findings, denying allegations of violations and accusing each other of committing abuses. They also claimed to adhere to international law.

Amnesty International called on the international community to provide increased humanitarian support for Sudan and urged neighbouring countries to open their borders to refugees seeking safety. The organisation also called on the UN Security Council to extend the arms embargo, which currently applies only to Darfur, to cover the entire country.

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