Urgent Call for Humanitarian Corridor – West Darfur
NP calls on the international community to urgently prioritise and negotiate the establishment of a ceasefire and humanitarian corridor from El Geneina to the border with Chad, just 25km west.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SUDAN, April 27, 2023—Amid rapidly escalating violence against civilians, Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP) is deeply concerned for the welfare of civilians in West Darfur. We call on the international community to urgently prioritise and negotiate the establishment of a ceasefire and humanitarian corridor from El Geneina to the border with Chad, just 25km west. This urgent protective action will save lives, enabling civilians to move to safer areas and away from ongoing, heavy fighting.
Extreme violence has escalated in El Geneina and in other areas. The indiscriminate use of heavy weapons has been confirmed. Clashes between armed groups in the area are widespread. Civilians are also being deliberately targeted based on ethnicity. Staff on the ground have reported that “bullets are falling on houses like rain”.
This includes the widespread targeting of civilians, many of whom have died or been injured. We are aware of the targeted killing of at least one senior government official. Amid ongoing fighting, there is no access to medical or other humanitarian services. Women and girls have been separated from other family members, and we are deeply concerned about widespread use of sexual violence as a weapon of war.
IDP camps in the area have been attacked and shelters have been destroyed. Looting of hospital facilities, civilian homes, businesses, and cars, and humanitarian infrastructure, is widespread. El Geneina is without power. The true scale of death and injuries in not yet confirmed.
We have an urgent responsibility to protect civilians and prevent atrocity crimes, and we urge immediate and decisive action from the international community.
For more information
SNAPSHOT: CIVILIAN PROTECTION NEEDS AND RESPONSES IN SUDAN (April 2023)
This snapshot highlights ongoing protection needs and risks facing civilians in Sudan, as well as highlights the need for urgent responses. These responses must include dedicated resourcing for protection activities and programmes; they must go beyond monitoring to ensure action, including direct protection work by community and unarmed civilian actors; investment in community-based protection mechanisms; and recognition that to be sustainable, these protection responses must encompass all parts of the conflict cycle.
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Felicity Gray, Global Head of Policy & Advocacy, [email protected]
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