UN leaders call for int'l participation in fighting sexual violence in Sudan conflict-Xinhua

UN leaders call for int'l participation in fighting sexual violence in Sudan conflict

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-04-26 07:44:45

UNITED NATIONS, April 25 (Xinhua) -- Two UN officials are calling for more international engagement to combat sexual violence against women and girls in the Sudan conflict, a UN spokesman said on Thursday.

Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Joyce Msuya joined Pramila Patten, the special representative of Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on sexual violence in conflict, to deliver the plea, said Stephane Dujarric, chief spokesman for Guterres.

"Their appeal comes as allegations of rape, forced marriage, sexual slavery, and the trafficking of women and girls continue to be recorded, especially in Khartoum, as well as Darfur and Kordofan," Dujarric said.

The spokesman said the officials timed the release of their joint statement for the eve of Friday's Security Council session on conflict-related sexual violence.

"Ms. Msuya and Ms. Patten are urging members to send an unequivocal message, which is that under international humanitarian law, civilians in Sudan -- and as a matter of fact anywhere around the world -- must be protected and must never be subjected to acts of sexual violence, which could constitute war crimes," Dujarric said.

"Reports of sexual violence reveal the war's disproportionate impact on women and girls," the statement said. "Millions of civilians are especially at risk as they flee conflict areas in search of shelter inside Sudan and in neighboring countries."

However, the statement said the true scale of the crisis in Sudan is unseen, a result of severe underreporting due to stigma, fear of reprisals, and a lack of confidence in national institutions.