“It’s been over 100 days since fighting broke out between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces, and in that time, senseless violence has wrought unthinkable suffering,” said U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield:
“Millions of people have been displaced ... Civilians have been shot dead in the street. Children have been orphaned, forcibly recruited, subjected to violence. Women have been brutally raped. Fighting has blocked humanitarian assistance – food, water, medicine, and other essentials – from reaching people in dire need. There are credible reports that the Rapid Support Forces and allied militias have carried out continued atrocities and other abuses in West Darfur.”
The United States condemns these reported atrocities, which are an ominous reminder of the 2004 genocide in Darfur, declared Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield:
“And we are gravely concerned about the risk of further conflict in North and Central Darfur. Specifically, by a reported buildup of Rapid Support Forces and affiliated forces near El Fasher, which poses a threat to non-Arab populations in the area. We are deeply concerned by unconfirmed reports of armed actors in Sudan preventing people from leaving areas of Darfur in search of safety, including across the border into Chad.”
“We have a responsibility ... to not just extol human rights, but defend them,” stressed Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield. “So, we must all demand the parties comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law regarding the protection of civilians.” The United States and its international partners are calling for the parties to immediately put down their weapons.
In the meantime, the U.S. as the largest single donor of humanitarian assistance to the people of Sudan, is working to support the millions of internally displaced people and the nearly one million others who have fled into neighboring countries.
Bureaucratic hurdles and other barriers have hindered relief efforts, warned Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield:
“We call on Sudanese authorities to expedite visa approvals for humanitarian workers, enable the movement of humanitarian goods and personnel throughout Sudan, and facilitate the importation of humanitarian goods and equipment.”
“We must all urge the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces to end the bloodshed and end the suffering of the Sudanese people. There is no acceptable military solution to this conflict,” warned Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield. “And peace cannot wait another day.”