CPJ joins statement urging United Nations to mobilize to address crisis in Sudan

September 12, 2023

We, the heads of over 50 human rights and humanitarian organizations are coming together to sound the alarm about Sudan, where a disaster is unfolding before our eyes. With fighting continuing across the country, brutal sexual violence rising, widespread deliberate and indiscriminate attacks on civilians, and journalists and human rights defenders being silenced, the country is no longer at the precipice of mass atrocities; it has fallen over the edge.

Since April, when open hostilities broke out in Sudan’s capital, more than five million people have been forced to flee their homes and hundreds of thousands of others may soon be forced to join them. Many are now living in camps with limited access to humanitarian assistance, few educational opportunities for their children, and almost no psychosocial support to help them cope with their traumatic experiences. 

Inside Sudan, over 20 million people, 42 percent of Sudan’s population, now face acute food insecurity and 6 million are just a step away from famine. At least 498 children have died from hunger. Clinics and doctors have come under fire throughout the country, putting 80 percent of the country’s major hospitals out of service. 

Hate speech, especially language urging the targeting of communities based on the color of their skin, is always alarming. But with an increasingly fractured social fabric, some fighters targeting civilians based on their ethnicity, and accounts from sexual violence survivors in Darfur who heard their rapists tell them that we hope you bear “our” babies, we fear the worst. 

Twenty years after the horrors of Darfur shocked our conscience, we are failing to meet the moment.
Thus far, mediation efforts have not deterred Sudan’s warring parties from continuing to commit egregious abuses. We urge a more unified approach that better represents the voices and perspectives of Sudan’s civilians, including women, youth, and representatives from the historically marginalized “periphery.” 

We are committed to working together to urge more aid for, more solidarity with, and greater attention to the needs of Sudan’s civilians. The United Nations humanitarian appeal remains woefully underfunded – at about 25 percent of what is needed – and Sudan’s warring parties continue to undermine efforts to deliver aid safely. Donors should step up humanitarian funding, both for local and international organizations who are providing indispensable assistance in Sudan and neighboring countries. 

The costs of inaction are mounting. 

The UN Security Council should move from talk to action and begin negotiations to pass a resolution that challenges the climate of impunity, reiterates that international law requires providing safe, unhindered humanitarian access, and redirects international efforts to better protect Sudan’s most vulnerable. The consequences of not acting are too grave to imagine. 

Signatories (listed alphabetically)

Act for Sudan, Eric Cohen, Co-Founder

African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies, Mossaad Mohamed Ali, Executive Director 

Africans for the Horn of Africa, Stella Ndirangu, Coordinator 

Amnesty International, Agnes Callamard, Secretary General 

Association of Sudanese-American Professors in America (ASAPA), Beckry Abdel-Magid, Secretary 

Atrocities Watch, Dismas Nkunda, CEO 

Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, Bahey El Din Hassan, Director 

Carter Center, Paige Alexander, CEO 

Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC), Udo Jude Ilo, Executive Director

Center for Peace Building and Democracy in Liberia (CEPEBUD-Liberia), Florence N. Flomo, Executive Director 

Committee to Protect Journalists, Jodie Ginsberg, President 

Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights, Carol Cohn, Director 

Darfur Diaspora Association Group in the United Kingdom, Abdallah Idriss, Director 

Darfur Women Action Group, Niemat Ahmadi, Founder and President 

DefendDefenders, Hassan Shire, Executive Director 

EG Justice, Tutu Alicante, Executive Director 

Freedom House, Michael J. Abramowitz, President 

Genocide Alert, Gregor Hoffman, Chairman 

George W. Bush Institute, David Kramer, Executive Director 

Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, Savita Pawnday, Executive Director 

Global Survivors Fund, Dennis Mukwege, President

GOAL, Siobhán Walsh, CEO 

HIAS, Mark Hetfield, President & CEO 

HUDO Centre, Bushra Gamar, Executive Director 

Human Rights Watch, Tirana Hassan, Executive Director 

iACT, Sara-Christine Dallain, Executive Director 

Institute for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention at Binghamton University, Kerry Whigham, Co-Director 

InterAction, Anne Lynam Goddard, Interim President and CEO 

International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Eleonore Morel, CEO 

International Rescue Committee, David Miliband, President & CEO 

Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights, Felice Gaer, Director 

Legal Action Worldwide, Antonia Mulvey, Founder and Executive Director 

MADRE, Yifat Susskind, Executive Director 

Mercy Corps, Tjada D’Oyen McKenna, Chief Executive Officer 

Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies at Concordia University, Kyle Matthews, Executive Director 

Never Again Coalition, Lauren Fortgang, Director 

No Business with Genocide, Simon Billenness, Director 

Nobel Women’s Initiative, Maria Butler, Executive Director 

Nonviolent Peaceforce, Tiffany Easthom, Executive Director 

Norwegian Refugee Council, Jan Egeland, Secretary General 

Open Society Foundations, Mark Malloch-Brown, President 

OutRight International, Maria Sjödin, Executive Director 

Physicians for Human Rights, Saman Zia-Zarifi, Executive Director 

Plan International, Stephen Omollo, CEO 

Project Expedite Justice, Cynthia Tai, Executive Director 

Public International Law & Policy Group, Paul R. Williams, President 

Refugees International, Jeremy Konyndyk, President 

Regional Centre for Training and Development of Civil Society, Mutaal Girshab, Director General 

Society for Threatened Peoples, Roman Kühn, Director 

Sudan Transparency and Policy Tracker, Suliman Baldo, Executive Director 

Sudan Unlimited, Esther Sprague, Founder and Director

Sudanese American Public Affairs Association, Fareed Zein, Board Chairman 

The Sentry, John Prendergast, Co-Founder 

US-Educated Sudanese Association (USESA), Samah Salman, President

Vital Voices, Alyse Nelson, President & CEO 

World Federalist Movement Canada, Alexandre MacIsaac, Executive Director 

World Federalist Movement/Institute for Global Policy (WFM/IGP), Amy Oloo, Consulting Executive Director