Urgent Intervention for Civilians Protection and Humanitarian Aid in Sudan
for the People of Darfur and Sudan
Dear Friends and Family of DWAG,
Darfur Women Action Group (DWAG) raise the alarm about the magnitude and the scope of death destruction in Sudan and call for an urgent intervention to sidelines and enable delivery of desperately needed humanitarian aid. As the crises enter into its sixth month, civilians’ casualties increase at an alarming rate and humanitarian conditions deteriorate every day.
We are appalled by the extreme suffering caused by the crises in Sudan, particularly in Darfur and the capital Khartoum where uncounted numbers have been killed and millions have been forced out of their homes without minimal survival means.
Despite the fact that the effort to negotiate ceasefire has utterly failed and parties have not shown any sign of backing down or respecting the promises they have made to the international community, the international community has yet to treat the situation with the sense of urgency.
In Darfur Rapid Support forces controlled almost 90% of the area. Renewed and escalated attacks in Zalingei and Nyala have caused an unprecedented hardship for civilians, many of whom are trapped and unable to flee while communication means have been restricted. The conditions are expected to worsen with the dangerous move by traditional leaders from Arab tribes mobilizing in support of RSF against indigenous Africans, which demonstrate a clear pattern of genocide. Regrettably, the Sudan Arm Forces, instead of protecting the vulnerable, rather has equally inflicted death and destruction of services on civilian properties by using aerial bombing, shelling, and heavy artillery. The aggression is causing most residents of Nyala and Khartoum to flee at an alarming rate, with limited to no access to survival means at the same time.
In a recent report by UNHCR, new statistics reveal that specifically, after a month and a half of hostilities, the country had recorded more than 2.2 million internally displaced people, a figure similar to what had been documented over the previous 10 years due to a series of conflicts in Sudan. By mid-September, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the figure exceeded four million people, just over 9% of the country’s population, an average of 26,500 people per day. Among all the refugees, almost 70% of them have fled the capital Khartoum, people from Darfur region made up the rest 30%. Most civilians in Darfur, despite being subject to attack, are unable to flee because of restrictions imposed on them by RSF and lack of means of transportation, leaving the affected community without adequate support they need to live in dignity or ability to reach safety.
The number does not merely stay on paper, but represents that the current conflict in Sudan has come into a critical phase and it is the ordinary people that are paying for the cost of war. The influx of new IDPs overwhelms the existing public service and humanitarian assistance infrastructure. Millions of people now lack access to water, food, shelter, and all kinds of living materials. According to Arif Noor, the director of the NGO Save The Children in Sudan, “the current displacement crisis is having a devastating effect on the population, especially children, who are increasingly exposed to risks such as child labor, early marriage, sexual exploitation, and recruitment by armed groups; and the war is also depriving children of access to education.”
For years, we have warned the international community of the dangers of enabling the perpetrators of genocide to dominate power in Sudan. Now we see that ordinary people are paying the cost of the international community’s inactions with their lives. We believe if we allow impunity for crimes committed in Darfur to go unpunished, then the rest of Sudan will face similar crimes and engulf in deviation and injustices that we have seen recently in Khartoum and other areas.
The current crisis in Sudan is evidence of the cost of immunity that al-Bashir and others wanted by the ICC have enjoyed while defying justice and undermining the international law and international institutions, including the UNSC.
It’s worth noting the current scale of crises in Sudan and its impact on innocent civilians’ crises is unprecedented. Underscoring the devastation created by longstanding crises in Darfur whereby genocide victims who have been driven out of their homes, remained displaced for over two decades, and have not seen, peace, protection or justice, and now they are bearing the brunt of the crisis in Sudan including the systemic genocidal attacks in Darfur again. We wish to remind the international community that currently forces perpetrating crimes are the same leaders who have carried out the longstanding genocide in Darfur.
DWAG call for the United Sates, the UNSC members and the international community to prioritize strong international intervention to protect civilians and create an enabling environment for humanitarian actors to operate and save lives. This step will create the path for pursuing accountability for those most responsible, then there can be peace and democratic transformation of Sudan. Therefore, we call on the international and regional actors to prioritize quick and effective lifesaving intervention, in Sudan, particular the Darfur regions where genocidal attack reported to have been carried out.
We call on the United Nations Security Council members and the member States of the Rome Statute to live up to their legal obligation and support the ICC to finally deliver justice to the Darfur victims of serious international crimes committed in Sudan.
We call on the African Union states to take leadership in leading an international intervention for civilian protection in Darfur and support ICC by prioritize cooperation to enforce the pending arrest warrants and investigation of the current rimes to deliver Justice- to ensure that the crimes in Sudan will not spill over across the region and the continent at large.
The United States is not state party to the ICC; However, as a leading member of the Security Council, the US is obligated to support and enforce all security council resolution, including 1593, which referred the cause of Darfur to the ICC.
We further call on our supporters to speak up to demand protection, lifesaving assistance and justice for the people of Sudan. We urge you to hold your leaders accountable and tell them, including to the Biden administration, that in the face of genocide they must not look the other way.
If we can speak in one voice and collectively demand an action, we will compel our leaders and prompt them to take serious actions.
Only with our collective effort we can make a difference.
Thank you for your continued support.
The decision of the ICC to extend its investigation into the current crimes is living proof that our fight is paying off. When we speak, they listen and act.
With our collective efforts we can end the killing, pursue justice, bring peace, and enable transformation of Sudan.
Niemat Ahmadi, Founder and President, and Darfur Women Action Group Team