The Citizen (KZN)

Don’t ignore Sudan – US


- Washington

The United States pleaded on Thursday for the world to care more about Sudan, nearly a year into its brutal war and voiced hope for a resumption soon of peace talks.

“As communitie­s barrel toward famine, as cholera and measles spread, as violence continues to claim countless lives, the world has largely remained silent,” said the US ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield.

“That must change – and it has to change now. The internatio­nal community must give more, it must do more and it has to care more,” she told reporters in Washington.

A long-running rift between Sudan’s army and the paramilita­ry Rapid Support Forces erupted into all-out war on 15 April, 2023, leaving thousands dead, displacing millions and severely derailing a fragile transition to civilian rule.

But the conflict has been largely overshadow­ed by the war in Gaza. Thomas-Greenfield regretted that just five percent of a UN humanitari­an appeal on Sudan had been met, forcing cutbacks in assistance for refugees.

She said the US will be “significan­tly increasing” funding in coming days.

France on Monday is set to lead an internatio­nal humanitari­an conference for Sudan.

Tom Perriello, the US special envoy for Sudan, voiced hope to use the “momentum” from the Paris conference to start new talks between the two sides.

Perriello said that Saudi Arabia had committed to a new round of talks and that the US hoped to announce the date soon.

Previous talks in the Saudi port city of Jeddah failed to reach any substantiv­e agreements.

“While many, many signs point to the war getting even worse, in some ways, it’s got so bad and it’s starting to have such regional implicatio­ns that it’s also increased, I think, some of the diplomatic appetite to try to find an end to this war,” Perriello said.

“We’re going to try to use every lever we have.”

Regional players have played a key role in the war, with Sudan in December expelling diplomats from the United Arab Emirates over accusation­s the wealthy Gulf country has funnelled military support to the Rapid Support Forces.

The paramilita­ries have also allegedly received support from Russia’s Wagner mercenarie­s, while Egypt, Türkiye and, reportedly, Iran have backed the army.

Perriello said that the US has been warning nations not to encourage an escalation to the conflict.

“Right now is the time that every arms shipment, every bit fuelling this conflict, is something that pushes us closer to not only famine, but to a failed state,” he said. –

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