Saferworld stands in solidarity with people in Sudan3 May 2023
Saferworld stands in solidarity with the people of Sudan who are suffering extreme violence and yet, are responding to the crisis with compassion and initiatives for peace.
Violent conflict has broken out in some parts of the country as two rival military factions battle for control. While Khartoum and Darfur are experiencing the worst of the clashes, all areas of Sudan are either witnessing smaller-scale fighting, forced recruitment or fearing an escalation of the violence and misrule they have suffered in the past.
Yet, Sudanese people have demonstrated the very best of what it means to be human – they are forming networks to provide food, water and communications and assisting those fleeing intense fighting. They are facing impossible choices to look after themselves, their families and their neighbours. They are bravely working to end the violence: whether it is tribal leaders or local administrators negotiating local ceasefires, encouraging fighters to return home or the #NoToWar campaign to end the violence.
The humanitarian response should support these and other responses and ensure those suffering most are reached – in a way that shores up the sovereignty and dignity of people in Sudan and contributes further to necessary locally led peacebuilding efforts at this critical time.
There must be an immediate end to the violence to avoid more widespread catastrophe. International, regional and multilateral actors must use maximum leverage to push belligerents to stop fighting, to support mediation and to shift power to Sudanese civilian and civil society initiatives.
The role of the international community in contributing to this crisis – by focusing primarily on armed actors and effectively side-lining Sudanese civil society – should be acknowledged. It must rebuild broken trust; such that urgent political solutions can be pursued with legitimacy and effectiveness.
It is time now for the international community to show they will not abandon the Sudanese people to further violence and its humanitarian impact. Learning from this mistake and listening to Sudanese civilians and civil society as they strive for peace and democracy must guide what we all do next.
Photo credit: Abdulaziz Mohammed on Unsplash.