Following the outbreak of armed conflict between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF), an independent paramilitary force, which erupted on the morning of 15 April in Khartoum, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East and Southern Africa Tigere Chagutah said:
“The use of heavy weaponry including artillery, tanks and jet aircraft in densely populated areas in Khartoum has caused numerous civilian deaths and massive destruction of property. Civilians are caught in the middle of this conflict and are suffering. The parties to the conflict must immediately stop using explosive weapons with wide area effects in the vicinity of concentrations of civilians.
“Sudan’s regional and international partners including the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), African Union, UN and others should publicly call on the parties to the conflict to respect international humanitarian law and protect civilians. Both parties must immediately stop their indiscriminate attacks.
“Amnesty International also calls on the UN Security Council to hold an emergency meeting on the situation in Sudan and publicly call on the SAF and RSF to protect civilians as a matter of priority.
“Finally, Sudan’s authorities and all parties to the conflict must ensure that there is immediate, unrestricted and sustained access for humanitarian actors to monitor and assess the needs of civilians and to deliver assistance to them.”
The fighting in Sudan comes after weeks of tensions between the RSF and the SAF over security force reform during negotiations for a new transitional government. The RSF and SAF jointly overthrew Sudan’s transitional government in October 2021.
Dozens of civilian casualties have been reported across the country since Saturday. Three WFP employees were killed, and two others were injured on 15 April in violence in Kabkabiya, North Darfur while on duty.