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Women and girls face hellish conditions amid the Sudan civil war and atrocities happening in Darfur, a western region, and Khartoum, the capital.

On Nov. 3, the Spokesperson for the United Nations Office Of The High Commissioner For Human Rights, Liz Throssell, detailed the harrowing reality women and girls are subjected to as warring in Darfur continues between the RSF (Rapid Support Forces), a paramilitary, and the SAF (Sudanese Armed Forces). While tensions in Darfur are deeply rooted, the civil war between the two parties began in April 2023.

Throssell said there had been over 50 incidents of sexual violence since the start of the war, wherein 105 were victimized. Regarding the latter, 86 victims were women, and 18 were children. The United Nations’ assistance mission in the region recorded 23 rapes, 26 gang rapes and three attempted rapes.

“At least 70%” of the confirmed sexual violence incidents had male attackers in RSF uniforms. Throssell additionally reported that the vulnerable female population “are allegedly forcibly married and held for ransom.” The recent news reportedly adds to an uptick in sexual violence in Sudan since the civil war between the RSF and SAF began earlier this year.

In addition to the sex crimes reported, the update shared that a minimum of 20 women were allegedly abducted.

“Some sources have reported seeing women and girls in chains on pick-up trucks and in cars,” relayed Throssell, who additionally noted that female abductees are reportedly being kept in “inhuman, degrading slave-like conditions.” 

Since April, it’s reported that thousands have been killed, over 5.7 million people have been displaced, and 25 million need humanitarian assistance due to Sudan’s civil war.

The United Nations’ assistance mission in Sudan, UNITAMS, has called for a stop to escalation from the RSF and the SAF.

Clementine Nkweta-Salami, a woman of many roles, spoke out about the ongoing conflict in a report published Nov. 2.

“Darfurians have suffered enough,” said the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sudan, Officer-in-Charge of UNITAMS, Resident Coordinator, and Humanitarian Coordinator. “Civilians must be allowed to leave conflict-affected areas safely and unhindered.”

“The toll this conflict is taking on civilians is unimaginable. Fighting needs to stop, and parties to the conflict need to ensure the safe passage of humanitarian assistance to the millions of people in Sudan who desperately need it,” she added. 

Learn more about support efforts via the Darfur Women and Girls Action Group — a Black woman-founded and led, United States-based anti-atrocities nonprofit.

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