Letter to the United Nations Security Council in Commemoration of World Refugee Day

To: H.E. Mr. Ferit Hoxha

Representative to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Republic of Albania to the United Nations

288 E 45th St. 7th Floor 

New York, NY 10017

Cc: All Member States of the United Nations Security Council 

Stand with Sudanese Refugees

For Civilian Protection 

Your Excellency Ambassador Hoxha,

Darfur Women Action Group (DWAG) is writing to you in commemoration of World Refugee Day, June 20th, to express its grave concern about the situation that Sudanese refugees are facing, in particular, those displaced because of the genocidal violence that has been occurring in Darfur for nearly 20 years. 

The Darfur genocide, which began in the early 2000s under the leadership of former president Omar al-Bashir, has led to the displacement of over three million people, of which hundreds of thousands have been forced to seek refuge across Africa, particularly in neighboring countries such as Chad, which hosts 370,000 Darfuris and Egypt, which hosts a 56,100 Sudanese refugee, the overwhelming majority of which are Darfuris respectively. Despite the overthrow of Bashir in 2019 and efforts towards a transition to democracy in Sudan, genocidal violence and skyrocketing levels of displacement continued to plague Darfur. Now, the October 25th military coup has further emboldened and energized the Janjaweed and RSF to escalate its attacks in Darfur because they know they may commit them without repercussions. Today the situation across Darfur is reaching catastrophic levels, with unimaginable loss of lives and humanitarian crises inflicting unbearable pain and suffering on innocent men, women, and children. While violence has escalated throughout the region, West Darfur has experienced levels of brutal violence that have not been seen since the early days of the genocide. We fear that if the violence continues to escalate, it will cause even higher levels of displacement and suffering for the people of Darfur. 

DWAG is extremely alarmed by the situation Darfuri refugees are facing upon their arrival into what are supposed to be safer conditions. The majority of the 370,000 Darfuri refugees in Chad live in refugee camps and host communities in the regions of Ennedi-Est, Wadi Fira, Ouaddai, and Sila, which are located near the border between the two countries. While most Darfuris arrived in Chad following the genocidal campaign that began in 2002, due to the escalation of violence in West Darfur since the October coup, more than 12,000 Sudanese refugees, most of them children, women, and seniors, have arrived in Chad. Nevertheless, the situation remains catastrophic for Darfuri refugees in Chad, as the security situation is very precarious. Numerous reports of violent attacks and theft at gunpoint targeting Darfuri refugees have been reported. In addition, the overall level of humanitarian needs remains high. Among refugees in camps, access to income-generating opportunities is low, which drives the need for support for food security and livelihoods. Access to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) and health services is limited because of outdated infrastructure in camps, which is often more than 15 years old. In these refugee-hosting regions of Eastern Chad, the rate of access to potable water is estimated to be only about 50%. In recent years, humanitarian needs have been negatively impacted by significant funding shortfalls and a declining level of food assistance provided to refugees from Darfur. The conditions that Darfuri refugees face in Chad should not be tolerated by the international community and must be addressed this World Refugee Day.

Moreover, the Darfur genocide has caused countless Darfuris to seek refuge in Egypt, but the vast majority of Darfur refugees in Egypt are not officially registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). It is estimated that there are hundreds of thousands of Darfuri refugees in Egypt, but only around 24,000 are officially registered by the UNHCR in Cairo. Egypt is a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol and to the Organization of African Unity’sUnity’s 1969 Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa. However, Egypt has no domestic procedures and institutions for the protection of vulnerable asylum seekers. The Egypt office of UNHCR carries out all aspects of registration, documentation, and refugee status determination. UNHCR has tried to ensure that the Egyptian government takes on the responsibility for refugee status determination to meet its legal commitments under the conventions, but the Egyptian government not only refused but it sent UNHCR a letter stating some significant reservations to the conventions, which limited refugees access to education, healthcare, and employment. As a result, UNHCR is responsible for processing the refugee applications and assisting in resettlement, but due to budget cuts, the UNHCR office in Cairo has been unable to meet the needs of all the refugees in Egypt. This has led many to live under miserable conditions for long years, lacking basic health, education, and social services. They have also been subjected to racism, discrimination, and poor treatment by Egyptian and Sudanese authorities not only because of the Egyptian government’s affiliation with the Sudanese military and Bashir regime, but with the negative stigma surrounding refugees, and indigenous Africans, in particular. Even in attempts to flee to a third country such as Israel, they have been subjected to torture and killing by traffickers or Egyptian border guards. Furthermore, Sources in Cairo have confirmed that women and children living in Egypt have recently become more at risk of sexual violence and killing and are systematically targeted for crimes and retaliation by the host community with no international or local protection mechanism. 

The 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol, both legally binding documents, emphasize that state parties are expected to cooperate in ensuring that the rights of refugees are respected and protected. Therefore, we urge you to address this dire situation with the swift concern and attention it deserves and be the voice for Darfuri refugees so that the Albanian government and the United Nations Security Council may undertake urgent action to provide adequate protection and services to those in need. 

DWAG calls upon the United Nations Security Council to take the following actions: 

  • Increase food and WASH assistance to provide adequate living conditions to Darfuri refugees in Chad and Egypt; 
  • Pressure members states that are hosting Darfuri refugees to increase security for refugees in the areas surrounding camps;
  • Convene an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council to address the situation in Sudan, in particular Darfur, to rally multilateral action to prevent attacks against civilians to prevent further displacement. 
  • Authorize a United Nations force to protect civilians in Darfur;
  • Hold the Sudanese leaders accountable for the escalating violence;  
  • Appeal to the western nations accepting refugees to increase their refugees’ quota and give priority to Darfuri refugees to be protected;
  • Demand the immediate surrender of al-Bashir, Haroun, and Hussein to The Hague to hold them accountable for their crimes against the people of Darfur.

We appreciate your urgent and kind consideration. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us for more information or with any questions.


Niemat Ahmadi

Founder and President

Darfur Women Action Group

1629 K St. NW 

Suite #300

Washington, D.C. 20006

United States