New York, 13 June 2019: United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Mrs. Pramila Patten, is gravely concerned about the situation in Sudan following recent reports of attacks by security forces and paramilitaries against the pro-democracy protesters who have been holding a sit-in outside army headquarters in Khartoum.

Despite restrictions on communications in Sudan, reports have emerged alleging serious human rights violations being committed by elements of the Rapid Support Forces and militias since 3 June 2019. These include the rapes and gang rapes of protesters, women’s human rights defenders and women medical personnel working in hospitals near the sit-in. Pending verification of these alleged incidents by relevant United Nations bodies, Special Representative Patten highlights the fact that the weakness of the rule of law and a general climate of impunity for alleged perpetrators of human rights violations in Sudan is further compounding a highly-volatile context.

“I demand the immediate and complete cessation of all violence against civilians including sexual violence. The Rapid Support Forces, which have consistently been listed by the Secretary-General in his annual report on conflict-related sexual violence, should take effective measures to prevent and punish sexual violence in accordance with relevant Security Council resolutions, including resolution 2467 (2019),” stated Special Representative Patten. “I urge the prompt investigation of all credible allegations of sexual violence and accountability for those responsible,” Special Representative added.

Special Representative Patten strongly supports the rapid deployment of a United Nations human rights monitoring team to examine the situation on the ground, including alleged cases of sexual violence, and appeals for the full cooperation of the transitional authority in the deployment of such a mission. She also calls upon the international community, including members of the Security Council, to use all possible diplomatic channels with leaders of Sudan to pave the way for a swift transition to a civilian administration and an end to all forms of violence and intimidation against civilians.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Ms. Géraldine Boezio, Office of the Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, New York

Tel: + 1 917 367-3306 Email: geraldine.boezio@un.org