The situation in Gazira State, Sudan, has escalated into a humanitarian crisis with significant human rights violations attributed to the actions of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). Reports emerging in February 2024 highlight the severe impact of these actions on the civilian population, leading to widespread condemnation from human rights organizations and calls for international intervention.
In Al-Gezira, since December 15th, the RSF’s operations have resulted in the devastation of cities and villages, leaving the local populace to endure over 50 days of siege-like conditions. These actions contradict previous assurances from the RSF leadership, which had promised to cease hostilities and criminal activities against civilians. Instead, there has been a continuation of violence, including killings, displacement, and theft, often accompanied by the threat of death or sexual violence.
The Sudanese Observatory for Human Rights has documented these violations, noting the absence of consideration for the population or civil infrastructure. The conflict has led to the displacement of more than 700,000 people, targeting over 400 villages. Additionally, the suspension of more than 500 health facilities, including cancer treatment centers and dialysis units, has exacerbated the suffering of the already vulnerable population.
One of the most striking aspects of this crisis is the looting and theft of food supplies meant for 3 million citizens. This includes the disruption of the Al-Gezira Scheme, a critical agricultural project that has been operational for 99 years. The scheme’s suspension, primarily due to the theft of seeds and agricultural supplies, poses a significant threat to Sudan’s agricultural sector, especially during the challenging winter season.
The international and regional community is urged to take a stand against these atrocities. The call for action includes a demand for clear condemnation of the RSF’s actions, ensuring that these violations are acknowledged and addressed. The goal is to safeguard the rights and protection of the citizens of Sudan, preventing further crimes against humanity and war crimes.
This situation in Gazira State is a clear indicator of the urgent need for a coordinated and effective international response. The preservation of human rights and the protection of civilians must be prioritized to halt the cycle of violence and provide much-needed relief to the affected population.