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US urges world to care more about Sudan

April 11, 2024

US diplomats urged countries to do more to stop the humanitarian crisis in Sudan as the conflict between the army and the RSF nears the one-year mark. They also called for Iran not to provide arms to Sudan.

Elderly man waits to refill his donkey-drawn water tank during water crisis in Port Sudan in Sudan's Red Sea State
US diplomats are calling for increased efforts to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Sudan and stop the war between the army and the RSF paramilitaryImage: AFP/Getty Images

The United States on Thursday urged countries to give more attention to the conflict in Sudan.

It also called for the international community to press Iran not to fuel the war amid reports it was providing the Sudanese military with arms.

Sudan has been facing a humanitarian crisis since war broke out between Sudan's army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces on April 15, 2023.

What did US officials say about the situation in Sudan?

"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," she added. "The international community must give more. It must do more, and it has to care more."

She said that only 5% of a UN humanitarian appeal for Sudan had been met.

Thomas-Greenfield added that the United States would "significantly" increase funding in the coming days.

Tom Perriello, the US special envoy to Sudan, called for "momentum" from an international humanitarian conference on Monday in Paris to lead to new talks between the two sides in the conflict.

He said Saudi Arabia had committed to new talks and that Washington hoped to announce the date soon.

Previous talks in Saudi Arabia's western port city of Jeddah failed to reach any breakthroughs.

"While many, many signs point to the war getting even worse, in some ways, it's gotten 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." 

Sudan's plight: 25 million people need humanitarian aid

US urges Iran not to get involved in Sudan war

Thomas-Greenfield said the US put diplomatic pressure on countries in the Middle East and North Africa to discourage Tehran from fueling the conflict between Sudan's army and the RSF.

"We've had numerous discussions with countries in the region and in those discussions with countries in the region, we've encouraged them to encourage other countries like Iran not to engage," she said.

Reuters news agency cited anonymous Iranian officials as saying that the Sudanese military had acquired Iranian-made unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and armed drones.

The US ambassador to the UN said Washington had had direct conversations with countries identified as possibly fueling the war.

"We've been making very clear to all partners across the region that escalating the war at this time is something that is going to not only have increasing humanitarian costs, but actually risks destabilization of the entire region," she said. "Right now is the time that every arms shipment, every bit fueling this conflict is something that pushes us closer to not only famine, but to a failed state."

sdi/sms (AFP, Reuters)