UN Security Council: Urgent action needed to end Sudan’s humanitarian disaster
7 June 2012
The UN Security Council must fulfill its duty to protect civilians in Sudan and take immediate action to halt the military’s indiscriminate airstrikes, Amnesty International said in a new report that highlights the need for aid organizations to be granted immediate access to conflict-affected areas in Sudan’s Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states.
Since violence broke out in the two states a year ago, more than half a million people have been displaced by ongoing indiscriminate airstrikes by the Sudanese Armed Forces, as well as severe food shortages compounded by the Sudanese authorities’ refusal to allow independent humanitarian assistance into the areas.
Tens of thousands of refugees have fled to neighbouring South Sudan, where they face further risk of human rights abuses and humanitarian challenges.
"The situation is desperate and time is running out to ensure the refugees have adequate protection and supplies during the six-month rainy season when logistical constraints in South Sudan cripple attempts to provide assistance," said Khairunissa Dhala, Amnesty International’s South Sudan researcher.
“For more than a year now the UN Security Council has been slow to react and has watched this catastrophe unfold. It’s time it lived up to its mandate and took action to prevent this dire situation deteriorating further. In particular, Russia and China must support a more forceful Security Council response.”
“With the onset of the rainy season, the number of refugees in the camps continues to swell, straining already limited resources. Around 50,000 refugees have arrived in the past six weeks alone and more are reported to be on their way.”
Amnesty International further calls on the United Nations to accelerate efforts to pre-position humanitarian supplies for the rainy season, to strengthen education programmes and to ensure measures are in place to protect women and girls in the refugee camps.
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