Thematic areas: Humanitarian Norms
In 2022 the humanitarian situation in Sudan deteriorated due to episodes of violence resulting from a stalled implementation of the Juba Peace Agreement. Armed combatants were left with no way to make a living, and inflation made it even harder for people to buy food and other essential items. This was particularly the case in West Darfur, Central Darfur, and Blue Nile States, where intense episodes of community-based violence took place. Tensions rose among different ethnic communities over access to land and other resources, and the situation was made worse by existing links between these communities and armed groups. Hundreds of people were killed in the violence and thousands of others were displaced with limited access to basic services. Hunger and food insecurity rose as farmers faced more dangers or could not access their land. Gender-based violence and child recruitment were a concerning protection concern, especially in Darfur. A shortage of humanitarian funding and serious access impediments hurt the humanitarian response and ability to protect civilians caught up in this conflict.
Geneva Call’s impact in Sudan
Geneva Call consolidated its presence and operations in different Darfur states to better promote humanitarian norms. More than 800 leaders and members of armed groups there participated in workshops and trainings on IHL that focused on improving the behavior of weapons-bearers in conflict and their efforts to protect civilians, particularly women and children and medical personnel, along with civilian infrastructure and medical facilities. Also, Geneva Call facilitated sessions of protection dialogue between leaders of armed groups by using IHL as a tool for prevention. By doing so, awareness of humanitarian norms and the importance of civilian protection was increased, offering better access to armed groups’ leaders, and increasing their trust in Geneva Call’s mission. More than 200 leaders and members of civil society were also trained in IHL, boosting their ability to protect themselves. An access study in West and North Darfur improved the ability of aid workers to get into hard-to-reach areas, and a scoping mission in Blue Nile began to look at ways of expanding work there.
Binay Basyal – COUNTRY DIRECTOR