Reports on rapes continue to rise in Sudan

Women in North Darfur (File photo: Albert Gonzalez Farran / UNAMID)


The Darfur Bar Association (DBA) has recently heard testimonies from 11 women who were raped in El Shajara neighbourhood in south-west Khartoum, according to a statement released by the association. Radio Dabanga this week received reports about at least 16 more rapes.

The women reported that drunken soldiers “forcibly took them from their homes and subjected them to sexual assaults”. According to the DBA, the victims have lodged complaints with an unspecified party, detailing the experiences they endured at the hands of the soldiers.

The statement adds that several families living in El Shajara filed similar complaints regarding drunken soldiers, but “the commanders responded by dismissing the soldiers’ actions as isolated incidents and claimed that they are unable to intervene”.

Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) cases continue to be under-reported. The Sudanese Combating Violence Against Women Unit said a week ago that the rape cases registered by the unit “represent only two per cent of the actual numbers”.

Reports about enforced disappearances continue to rise as well, amid fears that the abducted women and girls are being subjected to SGBV and other life-threatening rights violations.  

Radio Dabanga this week received reports about at least 16 rape cases. Two young women aged 21 and 23 were raped in Omdurman at the end of May. The eldest victim said that the RSF raided her family home and raped her and her sister. They received medical care and found a safe location outside Omdurman.  

Three other rape cases were reported in Khartoum and another one in North Kordofan. The reports still have to be verified.


Four South Sudanese women were raped on the road between El Obeid, capital of North Kordofan, and Dibebad in northern South Kordofan on May 22. They were taken from the bus they were travelling in, gang-raped by elements of the RSF, and then released. The victims were able to receive medical care in El Dibebad before they continued their journey to El Fula in West Kordofan.

Another two rape incidents happened in El Fasher, North Darfur, one of them in the Abu Shouk camp for the displaced. The victims managed to reach the Saudi Hospital, despite the extremely insecure situation in the city.

More than 13 rapes were reported in El Geneina, capital of West Darfur. Detailed information is unavailable due to the extremely insecure situation in the city and surrounding areas.  

On May 23, a journalist was abducted from her house in El Geneina by an armed group and beaten until she lost consciousness. On regaining consciousness, eight gunmen came to the deserted place where she was kept. They questioned her about the documentation of human rights violations she was working on and raped her. After having been released, she managed to flee to Chad.

Worrying trend

At the end of May, Radio Dabanga reported about a growing number of reported rape cases in greater Khartoum and Darfur, and again last week.

On Monday, 12 new rape cases in the Sudanese capital were reported, “bringing the cases of sexual violence documented […] to 36 cases in Khartoum only”.

In its latest Sudan Situation Report issued on Tuesday, the UN Office for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) expressed grave concern over the increasing incidents of gender-based violence, particularly sexual violence, and kidnappings targeting women and girls.

In a statement on Tuesday, Volker Perthes, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), echoed deep concern over the prevalence of sexual violence in the region.