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Sudan: UN rights council should continue efforts to advance accountability for ongoing atrocities

Human Rights Watch Statement on the UN Human Rights Council 56th session Item 2: Interactive Dialogue on the oral update by the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission for the Sudan

Mr. President,

Atrocities continue to be committed by all parties to the conflict in Sudan.

In El Fasher, witnesses describe shelling in civilian neighborhoods and attacks on health facilities, resulting in the killing of, and injury to, hundreds of civilians.

Satellite imagery analysis suggests targeted burnings of residential neighborhoods, and an increase in graves next to them. Weeks ago, a local volunteer told us about the hardships facing families remaining in the city, saying: “we may not be able to afford a meal a day.”

This follows appalling atrocities committed in El Geneina, where we documented war crimes and crimes against humanity committed as part of the RSF’s campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Massalit and other non-Arab populations.

SAF airstrikes have killed and injured civilians and damaged hospitals and other critical infrastructure.

While civilians starve, SAF and RSF continue to obstruct the delivery of aid and essential services.

History is repeating itself, and the global failure to hold those responsible for similar crimes two decades ago accountable, helps to encourage the perpetrators. This time, we must not make the same mistake.

Independent, international investigations into violations by all parties are essential to ensure accountability this time around. The Fact-Finding Mission’s mandate is critical in this regard, and we appeal to all UN member states to support it.

States and the UN should also take urgent measures to protect civilians from atrocities and hold parties accountable for the implementation of Security Council resolution 2736 (2024), which expressed alarm at the ongoing reports of violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of human rights, including cases of sexual and gender-based violence, and called for accountability for such violations.

Thank you. 

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