Human Rights Council Establishes Fact-Finding Mission on Sudan
Updated: Oct 17
By Ciara Laverty, October 12th 2023
In the face of a large and growing body of evidence implicating the warring parties in Sudan in the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity, on 11 October the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution establishing an Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Sudan.
Taking a step towards accountability for the people of Sudan, who have borne the brunt of the devastating conflict that began on 15 April 2023, the Fact-Finding Mission is mandated to investigate all violations of human rights and international law in the current conflict, with a view to identifying those responsible and ensuring they are held to account. After months of inaction, we welcome this step towards justice and accountability for the crimes that have been inflicted on civilians in Sudan during six months of brutal violence.
In light of the horrific reports of sexual violence taking place in the current conflict, the Fact-Finding Mission must now prioritise investigation into conflict-related sexual violence. Since 15 April 2023, reports have emerged of sexual violence inflicted on civilians on a large-scale, including rape, sexual slavery and other forms of sexual violence. Sexual violence is once again being used to exploit, terrorise and dominate the civilian population.
In our recent event, Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in Sudan: Reparation Prospects and Next Steps, participants from the Sudanese human rights community, from international NGOs, from the UN and from the International Criminal Court came together to discuss ways forward in preventing and addressing conflict-related sexual violence in Sudan . During the event, they heard survivors’ calls for justice, accountability and reparation.
“We need justice, and we should see it, at least we can have some rest and forget our suffering.”
“To the ICC, you should arrest everyone who committed rape, a brutal crime. We must witness those responsible held accountable.”
“The UN, we are vulnerable people we don’t know any other entity to call to stand by our side, today you need to be by our side.
”There is no reparation that can fix a dead soul, but if victims received a reasonable compensation, it might provide some satisfaction."
Their voices should spur action. The Fact-Finding Mission must include in its recommendations measures to ensure reparation for survivors of conflict-related sexual violence. Survivors' rights to accountability and reparation must be realised and cannot wait.