Humanitarian Situation in Sudan – 12 February 2024

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Published on: February 12, 2024
Humanitarian Situation – 12Feb2024 PDF

Since February 2, 2024, several states have experienced fluctuations or complete interruption of internet and communication services amid ongoing clashes between the Sudanese Army and the Rapid Support Forces for the past ten months. This situation violates international humanitarian law and directly violates Article 15 (b) of the International Covenant on Civil, Cultural, Political, and Social Rights. The Army and the Rapid Support Forces have been trading accusations regarding the responsibility for these cuts.

The deliberate blocking of communication networks disrupts banking services, which has caused significant hardships for citizens in accessing support and conducting their daily transactions. This disruption has also resulted in the halt of relief and humanitarian aid efforts, putting the lives of aid workers at risk and impeding the flow of vital assistance to those in need in conflict zones, displacement areas, and shelters, which may further exacerbate health and living conditions. Additionally, the internet shutdown has devastating economic consequences, including suspending air navigation, pausing domestic and international financial transactions, and disrupting public services and healthcare.

Sudan Human Rights Network (SHRN) strongly condemns the deliberate blocking of communication networks, as it violates citizens’ fundamental rights to freedom of expression and communication. These disruptions significantly impact daily lives and cause severe damage to individuals.

SHRN is deeply concerned that the lack of communication may increase violent crimes against citizens during this period. Furthermore, the inability to monitor and document such crimes expands the problem. Cutting off the Internet serves as a cover-up for potential crimes that may be committed during the shutdown. Interrupting Internet and communication services also reduces citizens’ ability to contact their relatives and loved ones, especially amid an ongoing war. This creates a challenging humanitarian situation, as the absence of information further complicates matters.

SHRN urgently calls upon all parties involved in the war to immediately restore communication and internet services and to refrain from targeting them in the future. SHRN also warns against continuing violations in light of these blocks and reiterates the call for a ceasefire and the initiation of negotiations to bring an end to the continuous suffering of the Sudanese people.

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