WASHINGTON, DC | August 31, 2023 – The Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security (GIWPS) joined calls for coordinated US and UK government action to address the escalating atrocities and conflict-related sexual violence in Sudan.
The letter, addressed to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and UK Secretary of State James Cleverly, was organized by the United States Prevention and Protection Working Group and the United Kingdom Civil Society Atrocity Prevention Working Group and expressed alarm over the war crimes, crimes against humanity, and potentially genocide currently being perpetrated in Sudan.
While humanitarian assistance and preparations for an inclusive peace process are vital, US and UK civil society organizations called for addressing and preventing atrocities to be a first order priority of US and UK policy towards Sudan.
The letter calls for US and UK governments to name the violence—without delay or equivocation— including through public condemnations by officials at the highest levels of government, and note the extreme sexual and gender-based character of this conflict. Governments should censure and sanction those providing the weapons and resources and protecting the supply routes to facilitate them. The US and UK should also utilize their roles in international and regional institutions—including the US’ current role as the President of the UN Security Council—to garner widespread condemnation of the atrocities in Sudan and to invest in urgent protection and prevention efforts, as well as further monitoring, documentation, and accountability.
In addition, the US and UK governments must immediately deploy all available protection mechanisms for both civilians and workers providing vital humanitarian relief, documentation, and other services on-the-ground, and support efforts to protect, report, and respond to child and sexual and gender-based violence. Governments should rapidly dedicate funding, particularly flexible funding, to provide robust civilian protection in Sudan and increase support at the borders, local communities, and host countries to address the critical needs of refugees and IDPs.
Failure to take immediate action will result in further suffering and mass atrocities. However, the US and UK have a time-sensitive opportunity to impact the conflict and save lives through their long-standing transatlantic partnership. Through a coordinated and multi-sectoral approach that addresses drivers of violence, the humanitarian impacts of the conflict and atrocities, and prevention, protection, and accountability, the US and UK can — together —slow, halt, and ultimately prevent further violence and promote peace in the long-suffering region.
Read the full letter here.
Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security