Sudan: USA and Darfur Lawyers Condemn Violence in Sudan

15 September 2023

Khartoum / Nyala / Washington — Battles between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) continued in parts of Khartoum state on Thursday. The US State Department has expressed its concern about the number of civilians being killed in the ongoing violence. The Darfur Bar Association announced the start of its investigation into war crimes in Nyala, capital of South Darfur.

One person was killed, and seven others were critically injured in continued fighting in Omdurman, a listener told Radio Dabanga. Shelling was also reported from Sharg El Nil (East Nile) in Khartoum North.

The US State Department yesterday called on the two warring parties to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law. Both the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the RSF agreed to commit to the protection of civilians when they signed the Jeddah Declaration on May 11, and noted the failure of both sides to fulfil the pledges.

Washington expressed its particular concern about the reported SAF September 10 air strike in southern Khartoum that killed at least 43 people, the August 23 shelling exchange between the SAF and RSF that killed at least 27 people - most of them women and children - in Nyala and continued shelling in a number of areas, including with the use of barrel bombs.

"Both parties have instigated unrelenting violence that has caused death and destruction across Sudan," the statement concludes. "The warring parties must end this brutal conflict. The Sudanese people deserve freedom, peace, and justice."

The Darfur Bar Association (DBA) similarly condemned the continued attacks on innocent civilians by both sides of the conflict. The lawyers referred to mass killings in El Haj Yousef and Hillet Kuku in Khartoum North and airstrikes on Nyala on Wednesday, stressing that Nyala has remained under the siege of death by both sides of the conflict from the first days of the war until now.

In a statement yesterday, they announced investigations into the airstrikes on neighbourhoods in Nyala on Wednesday, which left at least 40 people dead and dozens wounded, and other war crimes and crimes against humanity in the city.

The DBA further condemned "the damaging and desecration of places of worship" in the South Darfur capital, noting the case of the Sheikh Ata El Mannan Mosque in the El Wadi neighbourhood, where the windows were smashed, the Quran thrown on the ground. The attackers also urinated and defecated inside the mosque.

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