Geneva (ICRC) – A statement from Mirjana Spoljaric, the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross:
News release 21 April 2023Sudan

“For the last week the world has watched in horror at the appalling scenes of violence and bloodshed in Sudan. When battles rage in residential areas, it is civilians who pay the highest price.

“I am deeply concerned by the level of civilian suffering in Khartoum and other parts of the country. Residents are calling my colleagues in Sudan every day to plead for help to escape the violence. Families have been torn apart and people are running out of food and water after being trapped indoors with no respite. The warring parties must do everything possible to keep civilians out of harm’s way.

“The suffering is made worse by the fact that the ICRC has been unable to get aid to the people who need it most, as the parties have not given us the necessary security guarantees. This cannot go on. We implore the parties to grant the ICRC immediate and unimpeded humanitarian access to assist Sudanese civilians in need. This is not optional – it is a legal obligation under international humanitarian law.

“Last week, we delivered medical supplies for people wounded in fighting to hospitals in Al Fasher and Zalingei, in the western region of Darfur. But more must be done – and right away. Volunteers from the Sudanese Red Crescent Society provide first aid in clinics and hospitals in Khartoum, Merowe and Darfur, but they need supplies. Our urgent priority is to get medical assistance to more hospitals and to work to make repairs to their water and power infrastructure. We are ready to deliver more supplies as soon as there is a pause in the fighting.”

“Over the next few days, families across the world will gather to celebrate Eid al-Fitr. It should be a time of joy and celebration. No one wants to see the bloodshed continue or for the violence to turn into a far greater protracted crisis. What people need right now is a meaningful pause in hostilities to allow humanitarian aid to be brought in and for people to get to safer areas.”

Notes to editors:

The ICRC has been present in Sudan since 1978 helping people affected by the conflict in Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan. The ICRC’s work today, in close with cooperation the Sudanese Red Crescent Society, includes supporting hospitals and health facilities with equipment and supplies, working with local water authorities on improving people’s access to clean water and supporting the authorities in providing rehabilitation services for people with disabilities.