The Foreign Secretary’s statement on El Fasher, Sudan.

Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron said:

The violence in and around El Fasher in Sudan is appalling.

Villages around El Fasher have been burnt down. Hospitals have been destroyed. Hundreds are dead and injured from the fighting in recent days, and over 800,000 civilians have no means of escape.

I am deeply concerned by highly credible reports that some of the violence in Darfur is ethnically motivated. Attacks against Masalit, Fur, Zaghawa, and other non-Arab communities by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and allied militias are already taking place around El Fasher. The ongoing pattern of violence in Darfur, including apparent systematic attacks against civilians, may amount to crimes against humanity.

I also condemn the indiscriminate shelling and aerial bombing in densely populated areas by the Sudanese Armed Forces, which has led to catastrophic losses of civilian life.

It is within the power of the warring parties to stop this. The RSF must halt its siege of El Fasher and both sides must de-escalate immediately.  Both sides must fully honour the commitments made in the Jeddah Declaration, including allowing unhindered and safe humanitarian access and complying with their obligations under international law.  

We must hold accountable those responsible for violence against civilians. Thanks to open-source reporting, including that funded by the UK, we have detail about who on the ground is responsible. And we will continue to explore all levers to disrupt the funding of those perpetrating the violence.

Published 19 May 2024