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Minister for Africa statement on atrocities in Sudan: 22 August 2023

“The UK is extremely concerned by the growing body of evidence of serious atrocities against civilians being committed in Sudan.

“The continued widespread violence across the country and significant civilian death toll are horrific. Reports of deliberate targeting and mass displacement of the Masalit community in Darfur are particularly shocking and abhorrent.

“Intentional directing of attacks at the civilian population is a war crime.

“The Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have dragged Sudan into a wholly unjustified war, with utter disregard for the Sudanese people, and they will be held accountable.

“The UK is working hard to end the fighting in Sudan, including bolstering our capacity to monitor the atrocities that are taking place. This evidence will be shared with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the International Criminal Court to ensure the evidence is preserved and used to hold people to account.

“In July the UK announced a package of sanctions freezing the assets of commercial entities linked to both SAF and RSF, and stand ready to take additional measures. We call on international partners to join us in taking action to target the warring parties’ access to funding and arms.

“In the United Nations Security Council and Human Rights Council, the UK continues to highlight and condemn human rights atrocities in Sudan, urging partners to do the same, particularly the heinous crimes being committed in Darfur.

“We have announced £21.7 million in humanitarian funding for those in need in Sudan in addition to £5 million to help meet the urgent needs of refugees and returnees in South Sudan and Chad.

“Both the SAF and RSF must enable humanitarian access in Sudan. It is disgraceful that at a time of unprecedented need, humanitarian actors face targeted attacks and increased barriers, such as restrictive visa and customs procedures. The widespread blocking of convoys that are attempting to deliver life-saving supplies is deplorable. The UK calls on warring parties to comply with their obligations to protect civilians under international humanitarian law.

“The UK stands in solidarity with the people of Sudan in their demands for a peaceful and democratic future.

“The world is watching the dreadful events taking place there and the UK will do all in its power to ensure there are credible investigations and accountability – however long it takes to do so.”

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