Deeply concerned over the situation of women and girls in Sudan

At today’s UN Security Council briefing by the International Criminal Court Prosecutor Karim Khan on the situation in Darfur, Sudan, we expressed our continuous support for the ICC and the Office of the Prosecutor. Justice, accountability and protection of human rights are key to ending human anguish in Sudan.

The increasing violence in Sudan is deeply troubling, particularly its effects on civilians in Darfur and other conflict affected areas. The human cost is overwhelming: over 12,000 civilian casualties, 25 million requiring humanitarian aid, more than 7,4 million displaced, nearly half of whom are children. These statistics merely touch on the vast scale of human suffering in Sudan.

“The urgent need for hostilities to cease cannot be overstated. We call on all involved in the conflict to silence their guns and prioritize protecting the lives of the Sudanese people,” emphasized Representative of Slovenia to the UN Security Council Ambassador Samuel Žbogar in his statement.

He stressed that we strongly condemn “continued violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law, including systematic and widespread use of different forms of sexual and gender-based violence in Darfur and other areas of Sudan.”

As the conflict is spreading to areas sheltering numerous displaced persons, we are alarmed that a growing number of civilians are affected by these horrifying acts, especially women and girls.

“Upholding international law and protecting civilians is not an option but a legal obligation and a moral imperative. And there is no peace without justice,” Ambassador Žbogar added.

Slovenia shares the Prosecutor’s commitment to bring to justice the perpetrators of atrocities in the context of ongoing hostilities and we welcome his decision to prioritize the investigations of crimes of sexual and gender-based violence.

The progress made in the trial of Ali Abd-Al-Rahman is a signal to the people of Sudan that our commitment to fighting impunity is not an empty promise.

In March 2005, UN Security Council deemed the situation in Sudan as a threat to international peace and security. Unfortunately, it continues to be so. We are determined to maintain a high level of attention on this crisis in the Security Council and we urge all our partners to remain seized of the situation.

Read our full statement here.

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