Monday, April 22, 2024

Developments in Wad Medani and El Fasher, Sudan

We urge the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in Sudan to cease their advance in Gezira State immediately and to refrain from attacking Wad Medani. Troubling reports indicate that elite RSF units have travelled to reinforce attacks in the direction of Wad Medani, actions that threaten vulnerable civilians in a manner inconsistent with RSF’s stated claims that it is fighting to protect Sudan’s people. We also urge against Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) clashes with the RSF and other actions that are endangering civilians.

Wad Medani has become a safe haven for displaced civilians and is an important hub for international humanitarian relief efforts. A continued RSF advance risks mass civilian casualties and significant disruption of humanitarian assistance efforts. The RSF advance has already caused large-scale displacements of vulnerable civilians from Gezira State – many of whom have nowhere else to go – and closure of markets in Wad Medani on which many people rely.

We are also deeply concerned by reports of renewed fighting in the northeastern suburbs of El Fasher on December 16, including credible reports that several internally displaced persons were injured by stray gunfire. Like Wad Medani, El Fasher had become a safe haven for civilians driven from their homes by fighting. Such advances undermine confidence in efforts to reach a lasting ceasefire and a negotiated end to the conflict. They gravely threaten vulnerable civilians. We join Sudanese human rights defenders in calling on the parties to stop firing from positions in or near IDP camps, or returning fire toward those positions, recklessly endangering civilian lives.

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