SILENT WEAPONS,LOUDEST WOUNDS: Addressing the Crisis of Sexual Violence in Sudan

Silent Weapons-Loudest wounds

Since the outbreak of war in Sudan on April 15, 2023, civilians in Sudan, particularly women and girls, have experienced mass suffering and violence due to the conflict and have faced a spectrum of violations of their rights. These violations are a direct product of the conduct of all parties to the conflict, particularly the two largest—the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), both representatives of the state, whose political break and assumption of hostilities drove the country into a civil war. The bulk of the combat is currently conducted in Khartoum and Darfur, with further fighting in Kordofan.

Over the course of the war, the Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA) has documented violations of the rights of civilians, particularly those of women and girls, through its existing networks and mechanisms. These networks and information gathering efforts have been severely strained by the conflict. In areas of Darfur, where communication systems have been limited or non- existent at times and movement is particularly dangerous and restricted, investigation and verification of reports has been challenging. The cases noted in this report point to critical trends and highlight the dangerous worsening of living conditions, lack of access to critical healthcare, and exposure to extreme violence that civilians across Sudan are facing, particularly in Khartoum and Darfur