Sudan: Human Rights Groups Pressure Government to End Sexual Violence Against Civilians

On the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, a coalition of human rights organizations and Sudanese activists issued a joint statement calling on the Sudanese government to end sexual violence perpetrated by the country’s security forces. According to the statement, Sudanese government officials and security forces continually use sexual violence to gain and maintain control over women and then hide behind immunities granted by the government. A 2016 report by the UN Secretary General found that these sexual assaults of innocent civilians have been going on for at least 12 years. In 2015, the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) recorded 80 cases of sexual assaults by security forces. In 2014, government forces attacked the town of Tabit, Sudan, where authorities raped at least 221 women and girls in just three days; not a single person was prosecuted for these acts of violence.

The civil society coalition demands that the Sudanese government ensure a safe environment for women seeking to report acts of sexual violence; properly investigate and prosecute these cases; remove the immunity given to government officials; and, repeal laws that do not comply with international human rights standards.

Compiled from: Joint Civil Society Statement regarding Sexual Violence in Conflict, Human Rights Watch (June 20, 2016).