The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Africa (hereinafter referred to as FIDA Africa) is deeply concerned about the horrendous effect of the ongoing military conflict in Sudan and impelled to make a clarion call for immediate cessation of hostilities, observation of peace and promotion of security across the country to facilitate the passage of humanitarian aid and increase access to those who are in dire need of assistance.
We also urge the parties to the conflict to be mindful of their responsibility to respect the human rights of the Sudanese people and protect their lives and properties. It is very disheartening to learn of the brutal impunity, harassment and barbaric acts of humiliation being carried out by army personnel against civilians, including the looting of their properties and blocking them from escaping for safety.
We appeal to the African member states bordering Sudan to open their boarders and allow those seeking refuge in their countries to settle without any obstacles. We respectfully urge the leaders of the African Union not to relent from their intervention efforts but rather, continue to strive to prevail on the warring parties to heed the outcry of the International Community for immediate cessation of hostilities, end human rights violations and come to the negotiating table
Our call aligns with the aspirations of the African Union flagship Agenda 2030 and 2063 respectively to silence the gun and create enabling environment for sustainable development. There is no gainsaying the fact that the African people are weary of constant power tussle amongst leaders and the unfortunate resort to the use of arms and brutal force to prove superiority.
Undoubtedly, the incessant power struggle through the means of the gun, not only undermines the peace and security of the region, but pushes the populace further down the slope of vulnerability and subjects them to untold suffering, horrendous human rights abuses and loss of livelihood.
In this sort of situation, women and children remain the most vulnerable and bear the brunt of the terrible consequences of war. It is our firm belief that the peaceful resolution of the conflict is the panacea to tackling the leadership crisis in Sudan, and ending widespread violence. This will create a conducive atmosphere for the civilians to resume their activities and regain their lives.
FIDA Africa stands in solidarity with the Sudanese people, especially women and children and therefore, condemns in the strongest terms, all human rights violations meted out on the people and demands immediate investigation of all violations against women, girls and other vulnerable members of the Sudanese population.
Furthermore, FIDA-Africa reiterates that it is of vital importance for all opposing forces to be vigilant, respect the human rights of non-combatants, allow unfettered conveyance of humanitarian aid and safe passage of those trying to escape from the conflict.
- We humbly request the African Union Department of Women, Peace and Security to immediately engage with the parties to observe the WPS situation.
- We also appeal to the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to take the lead in establishing the process of peaceful means in resolving the conflict in Sudan.
- Finally, we strongly implore the leaders of both the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) to prioritize the safety of their citizens, cease all hostilities and adopt a peaceful means of conflict resolution, for the overall benefit of the Sudanese people.
It must be understood by all and sundry that the solution to the crisis does not reside in the battlefield. The solution is waiting on the negotiating table.