On this International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (IDEVAW), the United States reaffirms its unwavering commitment to ending all forms of gender-based violence (GBV) as a human rights imperative and to advance gender equity and equality.
Since the outbreak of conflict in Sudan on April 15, women and girls have been particularly vulnerable to heinous acts of violence and violation. The United States strongly condemns pervasive conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) in Sudan, which credible sources – including victims – have attributed largely to the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and their allied militias. The numerous reports of rape, gang rape, and other forms of GBV against women and girls in Khartoum, Darfur, and other areas are repulsive and must be stopped. For those who have escaped the immediate threat of conflict in Sudan, the risk of GBV, including CRSV, in and outside of refugee and IDP camps, and other settings is high. The risk of exploitation and abuse is also high.
In times of conflict and crisis, the risk of GBV heightens. The United States does not accept CRSV or any other form of GBV as an inevitable byproduct of war; rather, we understand its prevention as an essential element of peacebuilding and rights promotion.
We are supporting humanitarian partners in Sudan and neighboring countries to provide protection assistance when possible, including GBV prevention and response, as well as psychosocial support services for the most vulnerable and at-risk populations across the country.
The United States and its partners at the UN Human Rights Council also worked to create a new International Fact-Finding Mission that includes provisions for technical assistance and capacity building, in line with broader international efforts to promote accountability for human rights violations and abuses.
We will continue to stand with the Sudanese people and for the rights of women and girls, not just on IDEVAW, but every day.