FIELD UPDATES - Sudan
Following the fall of the President, Omer Al-Bashir, on 11 April 2019, and the subsequent formation of a transitional Government in August, there has been a reduction in the intensity and frequency of clashes between Government forces and the Sudan Liberation Army-Abdul Wahid (SLA-AW), as well as other factions operating in the greater Jebel Marra area. However, localized attacks against internally displaced persons and other vulnerable communities continued to expose civilians, particularly women and girls, to conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV). During 2019, the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) documented 191 cases of sexual violence. Rape and attempted rape constituted 80 per cent of these cases. Incidents were attributed to armed nomads notably during the rainy season to intimidate farming communities and impede critical livelihood activities; members of SLA-AW with the aim to gain control of territory in the south-east; and militia groups. Moreover, government security forces, were also implicated. Indeed, women and women-led organizations, which played a vital role in the peaceful demonstrations that began in December 2018 were subjected to sexual assault as a form of political violence.
The Government of Sudan signed a Framework of Cooperation on the Prevention and response to CRSV with the United Nations in March 2020. This agreement has to be promoted and made well known, as it coincided with the outbreak of COVID-19. UN Action stands ready to support its implementation.
It is important that in the transition to the new United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), Women’s Protection Adviser functions are retained.