Sudan: fresh fears for civilians in second city Wad Madani
City has been operating as a humanitarian hub for civilians who fled fighting in Khartoum
Extensive war crimes have been committed by both forces
‘We’re deeply concerned about the plight of civilians in Wad Madani’ - Tigere Chagutah
Responding to an outbreak of fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces and Rapid Support Forces paramilitary group in Sudan’s second city Wad Madani, Tigere Chagutah, Amnesty International’s East and Southern Africa Director, said:
“We’re deeply concerned about the plight of civilians in Wad Madani.
“Amid fear and panic, many thousands of people have fled the city in recent days. We urge the Sudanese Armed Forces and Rapid Support Forces to protect civilians and to ensure safe passage for those wanting to leave areas affected by violence.
“Wad Madani has also been serving as a hub for humanitarian operations since the conflict in Sudan started eight months ago and reports of the suspension of aid operations due to insecurity is compounding an already dire situation.
“Many people now trapped in or fleeing Wad Madani had earlier fled there from Khartoum seeking safety when hostilities broke out in April. We call on all parties to the conflict in Sudan to ensure unhindered and immediate humanitarian access to all civilians in need, within and outside Wad Madani.
“The Sudanese people have endured eight months of unimaginable horror, with mass civilian casualties suffered in both deliberate and indiscriminate attacks by the warring parties, as well as sexual violence against women and girls, targeted attacks on civilian objects such as hospitals and churches, and extensive looting.
“We call for respect of international humanitarian law, including an end to all attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure.”
An escalation in violence in Sudan took place in April this year after weeks of tensions between the Rapid Support Forces and the Sudanese Armed Forces over security force reform during negotiations for a new transitional government. In a report in August, Amnesty documented extensive war crimes committed by the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces in the conflict.