Sudan women call on UN boss Antonio Guterres to intervene in conflict

Published Apr 30, 2023


Siyabonga Mkhwanazi

Women’s organisations in Sudan have urged the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to call for warring parties in that country to end the war.

The women said they hold the Rapid Support Forces and Sudanese army responsible for what is happening as the death toll continues to mount.

In an open letter to the UN boss the coalition of women’s organisations and feminist groups said since the war began on April 15 a number of women who are breadwinners have been left struggling to survive.

They said the infrastructure has been destroyed with doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals not able to go to work to help the injured.

Some of the women have been forced to give birth at home because 70% of the hospitals have been shut down.

They called on the UN and regional bodies to intervene.

The RSF and the Sudan army have also been accused by women of refusing to allow humanitarian aid to come into the country because of their violation of ceasefires.

An urgent ceasefire was needed to allow for safe passages for those who want to leave and seek essential needs.

“Women of Sudan hold the conflicting parties responsible for any violation of international humanitarian law and emphasise that international humanitarian law must be respected, including the provision of safe passages for humanitarian aid and the protection of medical and service institutions,” said the women’s organisations.

“The Security Council, regional and international organisations must ensure that no other party or country participates in the war by providing military weapons or deploying forces in Sudan to fight with one of the parties to the war.

“International and regional organisations should immediately start raising funds for humanitarian assistance in Sudan. Agreement, by a decision of the UN Security Council, on a safe airport for the delivery of urgent relief, especially medical supplies, and for the evacuation of foreigners who wish to leave.

“Women’s groups and organisations continue to demand an immediate end to the war, and that regional and international organisations and the UN Women to make their voices heard globally at this difficult time,” said the women’s organisations.

Sudan army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan has been involved in a fierce battle with his former deputy Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, who leads the RSF.

More than 500 people have been reported dead and thousands injured.

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