Hasina Tirab, is a 59 year old woman and teacher was killed inside her house in Alfashir during the heavy shelling in the city on June 21st. In Elgeneina two sisters were killed in the fighting in the city on the second week of June. Hundreds of thousands of women and girls were forced to flee their homes in the fighting areas in North, South, West and Central Darfur. Hundreds of women fled North Kordofan during the last two months, as the capital city of the state is under siege by RSF for more than three months.

Conflict regions of Darfur and south Kordofan are part of the areas witnessed intense fighting started in Sudan on April 15th. Both regions had been living in a constant state of insecurity for more than  two decades. Northern Kordofan, which was considered a relatively calm area before this war, became one of the hottest zones since the first week of the fighting. Four of the five Darfur states are living hell for civilians for the last 4  months. The war-torn region witnessed mass atrocities amounting to international crimes such as ethnic cleansing. In Elgeneina, Mistri and Zalinji, people were targeted upon their tribal affiliations and color of their skin. Women were raped and abducted according to their ethnicity or their neighborhood or village. 

The Rapid Support Forces supported by some Arab/Nomad tribes in the region of Darfur launched systemic attack against civilians. Hospitals, schools, NGOs, mosques, and government facilities were completely destroyed in Nayala, Algeneina, Zalinji and other areas. In Alobieid  of North Kordofan, civilians are trapped within the city without access to basic livelihood such as electricity and medicines as the city is under the siege of RSF for three months.  A woman activist remained in the city described the horrific experiences of girls and women gone missing, reportedly abducted by RSF soldiers. Some of those girls returned to their homes after few days. “ We hear that they were raped, but the fear from the stigma is preventing their families from requesting support. In my neighborhood alone there are at least three girls went missing in the last few weeks.” Said the WHRD from Alobied[1].

Access to medical care and reproductive health is limited and mostly not available in Nayala of South  Darfur. “ My delivery time was in the second week of the war. They had to take me to hospital  under fire, I barely survived the shelling on my way to the hospital.” Said a woman from South Darfur[2].

A woman activist from South Darfur said: “ I personally received dozens of calls from families and survivors of rape from north, west and south Darfur looking for medication and socio-psychological support in the first two months of the war.”[3] The activist said from within the region in the third month of the conflict.

Lack of medication and support system for survivors is one of the main challenges facing survivors and women groups working in supporting them. Reports from north Darfur indicated  the devastating numbers of women and children fled the  conflict in Kutum and Taweila arrived in Alfashir city in mid-June. Hundreds of women arrived at the city, where humanitarian organization halted operations, local women groups led efforts to provide food and clothes. At least 6 of the women arrived from Kutum reportedly had been raped during the attack at their home town  or on the road to Alfahsir[4]. More than 35 women arrived at the city with sever injuries. The  main perpetrators identified by the women spoke to our colleagues are RSF and affiliated Arab militias.  

During the last few weeks international organizations, such as HRW and Amnesty published reports warning of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Elgeneina , Zalniji and Mistry among other areas in Darfur. The situation of women and girls fled Darfur violence to Chad reported to be catastrophic. On August 7, 2023, VAW unit of the Sudanese ministry of social affairs published a statement reported 12 rape cases in Kalma camp in South Darfur.  

The intensified fighting in North Kordofan remain highly under reported due to the siege over Alobied, the capital of the state. In South Kordofan, over 69.000 people fled to the city of Kadugli fleeing the fighting in Khartoum, and other areas within South Kordofan[5]. The Sudanese Peoples’ Liberation Forces/North led by Alhelo started to move within south Kordofan and on the border of north Kordofan. Clashes between the armed group and SAF resulted in displacement of thousands of people towards Kadugli and Dillinj, mostly women and children.      

Restriction of movement, internet and electricity interruption are hindering efforts of documentation and monitoring of the violations in the regions of Darfur and Kordofan. WHRDs from both regions and women groups are under mounting risks. They lost everything and continue to struggle to evacuate from the fighting areas.

The catastrophic conditions of women and WHRDs in the regions of Darfur and Kordofan is compilation of decades of conflicts and violence. Urgent interventions are needed to provide protection, security and humanitarian aid. Local women groups must be included in any interventions as they are part of the local crisis’s responses to the conflict. SRH and SGBV support must be prioritized in humanitarian aid and crises response in these areas. The overwhelming atrocities and the history of conflicts in Darfur and Kordofan inquires scale up of resources and response. Local communities are extremely vulnerable, especially womena girls, due to the lasting impact of the previous conflicts. Darfur region hosts over 2 million IDPs, mostly women and children. South Kordofan hosts hundreds of thousands of displaced people from former wars. Looting, intercommunity clashes, and ethnical targeting are extra risks facing women and girls. Sexual violence whin this context is systematic and  prevalent. International actors must take action urgently to provide protection and security for women and girls in these areas          

[1] Phone interview in end of July 2023.

[2] Phone interview in early June, 2023.

[3] Phone interview, July 2023.

[4] Phone interviews in June, 2023.

[5] Government officials reported to Radio Dabanga, 8 Aug, 2023