Why This Year’s International Humanitarian Day Should Focus on South Sudan

World Humanitarian Day is an opportunity to pay tribute to colleagues who have lost their lives in humanitarian service and to honour the thousands of aid workers who continue to provide much needed support to people suffering from conflicts or disasters across the world.

Why This Year's International Humanitarian Day Should Focus on South Sudan.
Photo/Courtesy. World Humanitarian Day.

On 19 August, stakeholders come together to honour humanitarians around the world who strive to meet ever-growing global needs. No matter the danger or the hardship, humanitarians venture deep into disaster-stricken regions and on the front lines of conflict, strive to save and protect people in need.

As this years theme is: ‘It takes a village’. There should be heavy discussions on what humanitarians and the people living in South Sudan are going through specifically women.

As the world is a small village, there should be discussions on the increase of war in countries like South Sudan.

According to a report released by Human Rights Watch, several women and girls in West Darfur’s capital, El Geneina, and those fleeing to Chad between late April and late June 2023, have been raped by the Rapid Support Forces, an independent military force, and allied militias.

Why This Year's International Humanitarian Day Should Focus on South Sudan.
Photo/Courtesy: Sudan’s West Dafur.

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Since the start of armed conflict in Sudan between the Sudan Armed Forces and the RSF on April 15, the RSF and predominantly Arab allied militias have carried out repeated attacks on towns and villages in the West Darfur state. These attacks have mainly targeted areas inhabited by one of the main non-Arab communities, the Massalit.

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Attacks in the city of El Geneina began on April 24 and continued through late June, causing numerous civilian deaths and injuries, and forcing over 366,000 people to flee to nearby Chad.

Why This Year's International Humanitarian Day Should Focus on South Sudan.

Humanitarian aid in South Sudan has worsened as challenges like sexual violence, that is, rape limits humanitarian workers from going there.

Rape committed by combatants can constitute a form of torture. Rape and other sexual violence committed in the context of an armed conflict is a war crime, and if part of a widespread or systematic attack by a government or armed group on a civilian population, can amount to crimes against humanity.

International humanitarian law, called the laws of war, prohibits parties to an armed conflict from deliberately harming civilians.

Common article 3 to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and customary international humanitarian law, both of which apply to all warring parties in Sudan, prohibit rape and other forms of sexual violence.

Therefore, with these kind of harm to the residents and the humanitarian workers. Those in charge of organizing the world humanitarian day should focus on creating solutions, that will prevent further conflicts and war in countries like South Sudan.

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