UN Sudan Envoy Steps Down, Blames All Parties for Rights Abuses

The United Nations' top envoy in Sudan is stepping down, four months after being told by the government to leave. Voice of America reports that Volker Perthes criticised Sudan's military and the rebel Rapid Support Forces at a Security Council meeting on Wednesday September 13, 2023.

"This conflict is leaving a tragic legacy of human rights abuses. Indiscriminate attacks against civilians committed by the warring parties constitute gross violations of human rights," he said.

The United Nations says at least 5,000 people have been killed and more than 12,000 injured since fighting erupted between rival generals on April 15. More than 5 million Sudanese are now displaced - more than a million of them as refugees in neighbouring countries.

Of particular concern is escalating ethnically targeted fighting in the Darfur region. The region saw wide-scale ethnic violence and crimes against humanity in the early 2000s, and the UN fears a repeat now. Perthes said hundreds of ethnic Masalit have been killed in El Geneina and other parts of West Darfur. The UN has also received credible information about the existence of at least 13 mass graves in El Geneina and the surrounding areas. RSF and their allied Arab militias have been attacking civilians in this region.

Last weekend, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams treated over 100 people wounded in two separate locations of Khartoum following deadly attacks. At least 49 people were killed in the strikes. MSF says this was the deadliest weekend they have witnessed in Khartoum since the beginning of the conflict, five months ago.

The Adre refugee camp in Chad (file photo).

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