Sudan: Statement on humanitarian access  11.3.2024

Norway is deeply concerned about the restrictions on humanitarian access in Sudan and calls for urgent restoration of safe and unhindered humanitarian access across the country.

The border between Chad and Sudan has been one of the most important entry points for humanitarian assistance the past months. The recent closure of this border further restricted an already severely limited flow of life-saving humanitarian aid into Sudan.  The border is essential for the delivery of life-saving humanitarian assistance to civilians in need, especially in the Darfur region in the west, where the situation is especially dire.

While news of a re-opening of the Tina border crossing between Chad and Sudan in the south-west is welcomed, several more border crossings are needed to ensure delivery of sufficient levels of humanitarian aid.

Unfettered humanitarian access between RSF and SAF controlled areas is urgently needed. Denying access to humanitarian assistance is illegal according to International Humanitarian Law and may constitute a war crime.

The humanitarian consequences of the war in Sudan are alarming. More than half the population, some 25 million people, need humanitarian assistance. An estimated 18 million people are already facing acute hunger and the United Nations warns of a looming famine if conditions do not improve. Aid organizations are currently not able to reach many of them. Civilians must be protected. Using starvation as a method of warfare against civilians is strictly prohibited.

Restoring connectivity so that civilians and humanitarian actors can communicate is also urgent. The telecommunication black-out that has affected large parts of Sudan since early February is a threat to the safety of civilians and is significantly hampering humanitarian assistance. We are deeply concerned about the deliberate destruction of civilian infrastructure, including telecommunications, which has severe consequences for the civilians affected by the hostilities.

Our expectations to all parties to the conflict are clear: International Humanitarian Law must be respected, always and everywhere.

Lenke: Sudan: Statement on humanitarian access –