UN rights chief says dozens of women in Sudan subjected to sexual violence – Middle East Monitor

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said yesterday that his office has received credible reports of sexual violence against at least 53 women and girls during the fighting in Sudan, with at least 18 to 20 women being raped in one attack. Volker Turk made his comment on the UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict.

Turk pointed out that he was “shocked” by the allegations of sexual violence, particularly “rape,” noting that in “almost all cases” the perpetrators were members of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary group. “We continue to see senseless conflict taking place with complete impunity,” he added.

Also on Monday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that he is concerned about the ethnic dimension of the violence in Sudan’s West Darfur state, and warned that attacking civilians on the basis of their ethnic affiliation may amount to crimes against humanity. “I am particularly concerned about reports of sexual and gender-based violence, as well as about the ethnic dimension of the violence in El Geneina,” explained Guterres during an event aimed at raising funds for the UN humanitarian operations in Sudan.

The event was launched online under the presidency of Saudi Arabia with the participation of Qatar, Egypt, Germany, the UN and the EU. Guterres stressed the need to stop violence in Sudan against aid workers as well as to stop attacks on civilian infrastructure and humanitarian supplies.

On Saturday, Saudi Arabia and the US announced a 72-hour truce across Sudan as of 6:00am local time on Sunday. The fighting in Sudan between the army and the RSF has left hundreds of people dead and thousands wounded, local medical sources have reported.

READ: International donors pledge $1.5bn in Sudan aid

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