ICC investigates war crimes in Sudan’s Darfur

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor is urgently investigating allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sudan’s al-Fashir.

The Darfur city has become a new front in the conflict between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces.

On Tuesday, Karim Khan called for anyone with possible evidence, including audio and visual material, to submit it to his office.

“The evidence my office has collected to date seems to show credible, repeated, expanding, continuous allegations of attacks against the civilian population, in particular attacks directly against camps for internally displaced persons. It seems to show the widespread, prevalent use of rape and other forms of sexual violence. It seems to disclose consistently the shelling of civilian areas, the looting of properties and attacks against hospitals. I am particularly concerned by the ethnically motivated nature of these attacks against the Masalit and other communities.”

Al-Fashir is home to more than 1.8 million residents and displaced people.

But some 130 000 have fled their homes there, according to the United Nations, as a result of fighting in April and May.

On Sunday, medical NGO Doctors Without Borders said Al-Fashir’s main hospital had been attacked by the RSF and put out of service.

The RSF, which did not respond to a request for comment, has taken over the capital Khartoum and much of Western Sudan.

The 14-month-old war has created the world’s largest displacement crisis and, at the end of May, UN agencies warned of an “imminent risk of famine”.

18 million people were acutely hungry, they said, including 3.6 million children who were severely malnourished.

No formal declaration has been made, but on Tuesday US special envoy to Sudan, Tom Perriello, said some parts of the country were already in famine.

He said the extent of the extreme hunger was unclear but that Sudan was a case of ‘man-made’ famine and that both warring parties were responsible.