The United Nations officials told the Security Council that sexual violence is being committed on a “sickening scale” in Sudan, as fighting in the Darfur region is reviving “old wounds of ethnic tension” that may wreak havoc on the country.
“The alarming accounts of sexual violence that are heard from people who have fled to Port Sudan are just a fraction of those being repeated at a sickening scale from conflict hotspots across the country,” said senior U.N. aid official Edem Wosornu.
“The fighting in Darfur continues to reopen the old wounds of ethnic tension of past conflicts in the region,” Martha Ama Akyaa Pobee, a senior U.N. official on Africa, told the council.
“This is deeply worrying, and could quickly engulf the country in a prolonged ethnic conflict with regional spillovers.” The official said.
The United Nations said more than 4 million people have fled their homes as a result of the present conflict in Sudan, with 3.2 million being internally displaced and nearly 900,000 crossing into Chad, Egypt, South Sudan, and other countries.
“The humanitarian impacts are made worse by credible evidence to suggest serious violations of international humanitarian law by both the SAF and the RSF which could amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity,” Britain’s U.N. Ambassador Barbara Woodward told the Security Council.
Fighting broke out between the Sudanese Army and rival paramilitary forces, RSF, on April 15 – four years after the overthrow of former President Omar al-Bashir during a popular uprising.
In West Darfur, the clashes have paved the way for ethnic-driven attacks by Arab militias and the RSF, forcing hundreds of thousands of people to flee to Chad.
Residents have also accused RSF troops of stealing and seizing large areas of the capital. The RSF has denied wrongdoing .