Escalating conflict in Sudan concerning – Presidency

SA stands in solidarity with the innocent people of Sudan, who have been subjected to untold suffering

Presidency expresses grave concern at escalating conflict in Sudan and attacks in El Fasher, Capital of North Darfur

28 May 2024

South Africa expresses grave concern at the escalating conflict in Sudan and attacks in El Fasher, capital of North Darfur

South Africa once more expresses its serious concern at the on-going armed conflict in Sudan which has resulted in loss of civilian lives, wanton destruction of property, especially critical infrastructure, and displacement of the population.

South Africa stands in solidarity with the innocent people of Sudan, who have been subjected to untold suffering since the outbreak of hostilities on 15 April 2023, with the main protagonists to the conflict being the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF). South Africa reiterates its call for the immediate end to the conflict and resumption of genuine and sincere talks to bring an end to the human suffering that the people of Sudan have endured for a long time.

There can be no military solution to the fighting, which must be resolved in a peaceful manner on the basis of a Sudanese-owned and Sudanese-led inclusive dialogue, paving the way for a return to the transition process towards a civilian-led, democratic Government.

We express our grave concern at the outbreak of a major fighting in El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur and the plight faced by many civilians, especially women and children. The reported use of heavy artillery by the fighting parties in populated places continues to place the lives of civilians in danger. In this regard we wish to sight the warning by the Secretary-General of the UN, Mr Antonio Gutteres, during his recent address to the UN Security Council, that “intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population and wilfully impending humanitarian relief for civilians in need may constitute war crimes”.

The attacks against El Fasher came amidst the Human Rights Watch Report which detailed cases of gross human rights abuses in Sudan, including ethnically motivated killings and gender-based violence.

We call on all the parties to the conflict to respect international law, including international humanitarian law, protect civilians, especially women and children, and not to hamper in any manner the distribution of humanitarian assistance as well as provision of medical support.

There is a need to urgently put an end to impunity in this senseless conflict. The dire human rights situation arising from the ongoing conflict cannot be ignored, nor can the role of relevant multilateral and regional bodies and initiatives. South Africa pledges its full support to the efforts of the UN Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy to Sudan, Mr Ramtane Lamamra, the African Union and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to promote the peaceful end to the conflict through mediation and dialogue.

Issued by Vincent Magwenya, Spokesperson to President Ramaphosa, 29 May 2024