After a personal and detailed investigation during a visit to the Country, the UN’s appointed human rights expert for Sudan, Radhoune Noucier, has sounded the alarm about the situation. In an interview with the UN outlet UN News, he outlined how the ongoing war between rival military factions has devastated the country’s basic human rights, economy and legal system. He highlighted the grim situation resulting from clashes between the national army and the RSF militia since April 2023, which has displaced more than seven million people out of a population of 45 million, half of whom are in need of humanitarian assistance, according to the UN aid agency, OCHA.
The death toll has exceeded 13,000, with 26,000 injured, according to the UN agency’s latest situation report published on Sunday. Faced with such a dramatic situation, Noucier stresses the urgent need for a ceasefire and an end to impunity for the perpetrators. He also said he had witnessed various violations, including extrajudicial killings, indiscriminate shelling, illegal detentions, torture, beatings, looting and mass graves, as well as alarming cases of gender-based violence, including sexual violence against women and girls. As a result of the war, the economy has collapsed, with unemployment at 46% and inflation at 250%.
The justice system has been decimated and 19 million Sudanese children are out of school. More than 7.6 million people have been forcibly displaced, and humanitarian aid is hampered by insecurity and bureaucratic obstacles. On the effectiveness of calls for investigations into human rights abuses, he pointed out that decades of impunity in Sudan have fuelled current atrocities. But he is now calling for an end to impunity and for justice at national and international levels.
To this end, he maintains contact with Sudanese colleagues and NGOs inside the Country, although most international staff and many NGOs have left Sudan due to insecurity. Information on human rights violations is gathered through weekly online meetings with Sudanese monitors. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights will continue to monitor the situation, following the rules to ensure accurate documentation and to avoid accusing any state or Government without solid evidence.
On the cover photo, a woman receives support at a UNFPA Safe Space after fleeing Sudan © UNFPA Egypt/Remon Magdy