Darfur Women Action Group (DWAG) welcomes the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) extended sanctions on Sudan, as the sanctions are targeted to improve Sudan’s peace-building capacity.

13 of the 15 member states of the United Nations Security Council voted in favor of extending the mandate see the sanctions as a positive development, stating that they will be “progressively lifted” if the Sudanese government commits to fulfilling key benchmarks, vis-à-vis the implementation of the Juba Peace Agreement, and the protection of civilians. China and Russia were the two countries that chose to abstain from the vote. The UN representative of Russia stated that the sanctions imposed on Sudan serve as an impediment to Sudan’s capability in “state-building and achieving socioeconomic development”. Meanwhile, the Chinese representative to the UN added that the sanctions benchmarks were “outdated and should be lifted to reflect improved circumstances on the ground”.

The current mandate will run until March 15, 2024, despite Sudan’s repeated demands that the UN Security Council lift the arms embargo on the Darfur region. The council expressed that a progress statement on the key benchmarks by December 1, 2023 would be needed to be conducted in coordination with a Panel of Experts and the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres. More importantly, the assessment outlined that Sudan should submit requests for the sanctions committee’s consideration on approval for the movement of military equipment and supplies into Darfur, in the context of implementing the Juba Peace Agreement.

Human rights violations continue at an alarming rate across Sudan. Violence in Darfur has recently escalated, resulting in mass killings, displacement, and incidents of rape and sexual violence against innocent civilians. The overwhelming majority of the casualties are women and children, which constitutes an alarming violation of international human rights and humanitarian laws. These incidents are testimonies to the Sudanese government’s lack of respect for and protection of the dignity and the rights of its own people that the Council must not overlook.

We call on the global community, the United States, and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) members to take the following measures to help end the Sudanese junta’s human rights violations and restore the civilian government:

DWAG equally urges our supporters to speak up, spread the word, and demand their leaders to take swift action to end the suffering and bring lasting peace and stability in Sudan. We must continue to make our voices louder and demand accountability. With our collective effort, we can make a difference and end the suffering in Darfur and across Sudan.