USA calls on Sudan’s RSF for ‘zero tolerance for sexual violence’

Médecins Sans Frontières staff unload medical supplies in Rokoro, Jebel Marra, August 2023 (Photo: MSF)

The USA has strongly condemned “the widespread conflict-related wave of sexual violence in Sudan attributed by reliable sources, including victims, to the Rapid Support Forces (RSF)”. In a statement on Friday, US State Dept. spokesperson Matthew Miller expressed concern at the numerous reports of rape, gang rape and other forms of gender-based violence against women and girls in West Darfur and other areas.

In the statement, Miller calls on the RSF to condemn conflict-related violence, commit to taking effective measures to prevent and address any such acts, and declare zero tolerance for sexual violence.

The spokesperson also expressed grave concern about the situation in and around the South Darfur capital of Nyala where tens of thousands of civilians continue to be trapped as fighting escalates between the RSF and the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF). He called on both sides to stop the fighting immediately and allow the safe passage of all civilians out of the city, calling for accountability for the perpetrators of atrocities.

The statement emphasised that “accountability for sexual violence in conflict is a core priority of the US government, as indicated in the Presidential Memorandum signed by Biden in November 2022, which directs the use of all available tools — including legal, political, diplomatic, and financial — to achieve justice and deter such violence.”


Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders/MSF) says that it treated three survivors of sexual and gender-based violence at its health facility in Rokoro, in Jebel Marra in Central Darfur, in July. In a post on X, formerly Twitter, MSF indicate that a shipment of medicines from Chad arrived in Rokoro on Saturday.

Badreldeen Jibreel, deputy project coordinator of the MSF project in Rokoro, said the last shipment of medicines arrived in the area in mid-May and was supposed to be enough for three months. “But due to the drastic increase of patients, we started running out of some key medical supplies two months ago” he tweeted via the MSF Sudan account.

The only functioning health facility in Rokoro and the surrounding hospitals have treated 685 patients in the emergency room, and 103 pregnant women have been admitted to the maternity ward.

MSF said there were limited options for referring patients for higher levels of treatment because of the ongoing fighting, and the only means of transportation “is by donkey or camel”. The biggest dilemma for patients, staff and the community is the lack of supplies.