• Press Release

Sudan: Fresh Fears for Civilians as Fighting Extends to Wad Madani

December 19, 2023

Sudanese flee Wad Madani
Getty Images

Responding to the outbreak of fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in Sudan’s second city Wad Madani, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East and Southern Africa, Tigere Chagutah, said: 

“We’re deeply concerned about the plight of civilians in Wad Madani. Amid fear and panic, many thousands of people have fled the city in recent days. We urge the SAF and RSF to protect civilians and to ensure safe passage for those wanting to leave areas affected by violence. 

“Wad Madani has also been serving as a hub for humanitarian operations since the conflict in Sudan started eight months ago and reports of the suspension of aid operations due to insecurity is compounding an already dire situation. Many people now trapped in or fleeing Wad Madani had earlier fled there from Khartoum seeking safety when hostilities broke out in April. We call on all parties to the conflict in Sudan to ensure unhindered and immediate humanitarian access to all civilians in need, within and outside Wad Madani. 

“Amid fear and panic, many thousands of people have fled the city in recent days.”

— Tigere Chagutah Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East and Southern Africa

“The Sudanese people have endured eight months of unimaginable horror, with mass civilian casualties suffered in both deliberate and indiscriminate attacks by the warring parties, as well as sexual violence against women and girls, targeted attacks on civilian objects such as hospitals and churches, and extensive looting. We call for respect of international humanitarian law, including an end to all attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure.” 

Background

An escalation in violence took place in April 2023 after weeks of tensions between the RSF and the SAF over security force reform during negotiations for a new transitional government. In a report published in August, ‘Death Came To Our Home’: War Crimes and Civilian Suffering In Sudan, Amnesty International documented extensive war crimes being committed by the SAF and RSF in the conflict.  

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