The short-term ceasefire in Sudan to allow for humanitarian aid has raised hopes that the fighting between warring security forces loyal to two rival generals could be brought to an end. The violence of the last several weeks has resulted in thousands of deaths. Additionally, some 840,000 people have been displaced within Sudan and another 250,000 have been forced to flee the country.
In a message to the Sudanese people, Secretary of State Antony Blinken called the violence “senseless and devastating.”
“The whole world has been united in calling for an end to this conflict and insisting on a negotiated solution,” he said.
The short-term ceasefire that went into effect May 22 was arranged to allow for humanitarian assistance and repair of essential services and infrastructure. It was the result of intensive diplomacy by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States. A remote mechanism, backed by the United States, is used to monitor the ceasefire. “If the ceasefire is violated, we’ll know, and we will hold violators accountable through sanctions and other means,” said Secretary Blinken. “We facilitated the ceasefire, but it’s the responsibility of the Sudanese Armed Forces and Rapid Support Forces to implement it.”
The United States remains the largest single donor of humanitarian aid to Sudan, and on May 23 announced $245 million in additional support to the people of Sudan and neighboring countries experiencing the impacts of the ongoing humanitarian crisis.
In his message to the Sudanese people, Secretary of State Blinken emphasized that Sudan’s civilians must be the ones to define Sudan’s path going forward:
“You should lead a political process to restore Sudan’s democratic transition and form a civilian government. Sudan’s political future belongs to you, the people of your great nation. Your military should withdraw from governance and focus on defending the nation from external threats. The United States of America supports a democratic government that represents the full diversity of the Sudanese people.”
“Only a civilian government can succeed in delivering stability and security and fulfilling your aspirations for freedom, for peace, for justice,” declared Secretary Blinken. “You can count on [the United States] to remain by your side until you achieve this goal.”