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US ambassador to UN announces robust measures in response to Sudan crisis

Sep 13, 2023

Doha [Qatar], September 13: In a high-impact digital audio press conference conducted via Zoom, US Ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, illuminated the gravity of the situation in Sudan during her recent visit to the Chad-Sudan border.
The event not only unveiled substantial additional US humanitarian aid, totalling over $160mn, but also introduced a series of new sanctions aimed at holding perpetrators of atrocities in Darfur accountable.
Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield commenced the briefing with heartfelt appreciation for the Chadian government and its people for extending a helping hand to Sudanese refugees fleeing unimaginable violence and horrors in their home country.
She expressed profound admiration for the valiant efforts of humanitarian workers operating under extraordinarily challenging circumstances. During her visit to the town of Andre, located near the Sudanese border, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield bore witness to the heroic work undertaken by organisations such as Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF).
Her vivid description painted a picture of acute malnutrition plaguing hundreds of children, their tiny frames, swollen ankles, and weakened voices serving as a stark reminder of the urgency of the situation.
The Ambassador underscored the imperative of extending support to the Sudanese people. This imperative manifested in the announcement of nearly $163mn in additional US humanitarian assistance for Sudan and neighbouring countries, including Chad.
This generous contribution elevates the United States' total humanitarian aid commitment to nearly $710mn for the Sudan emergency. Nevertheless, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield cautioned that a crisis of such magnitude necessitated a united global response. She drew attention to the distressing fact that the humanitarian response plan for 2023 remained woefully underfunded, with less than 30 percent of required funds secured.
While passionately beseeching the international community to step up their efforts, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield reiterated the imperative of preventing and addressing mass atrocities. She specifically highlighted the recent imposition of US sanctions on individuals linked to abuses committed by Sudan's Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and associated militias.
Beyond monetary contributions, the Ambassador recounted her encounters with human rights activists, civil society leaders, and Chadian transitional President Muhammad Idris during her visit. Her diplomatic mission extended to Cabo Verde, where she bolstered the robust bilateral relationship and inspired young Cabo Verdeans who had previously participated in US exchange programmes.
The conference seamlessly transitioned into a riveting question-and-answer session featuring inquiries from seasoned journalists. The queries spanned a spectrum of critical topics, including the efficacy of humanitarian aid delivery, the repercussions of sanctions on RSF actors, the United States' stance toward Sudanese armed forces, negotiation plans, and the collection of evidence related to atrocities.
In response to queries about aid distribution, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield emphasized the vital role of encouraging additional donors to bolster their contributions, recognising the colossal requirements on the ground. She reiterated the ongoing diplomatic efforts to exert pressure on both sides of the conflict, compelling them to cease hostilities.
Turning her attention to sanctions, the Ambassador elucidated that the United States was steadfastly neutral, concentrating its efforts on holding individuals accountable for crimes against the Sudanese populace. She underscored the dynamic nature of the situation, affirming that further sanctions could be imposed as credible information about human rights violations continued to emerge.
Addressing the urgent humanitarian situation in Chad, particularly for refugees, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield emphasized the dire need for international solidarity and support. She lauded the remarkable resilience of humanitarian organizations and the refugees themselves, who, despite their traumatic experiences, persevered with unwavering determination.
Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield extended her heartfelt gratitude to the journalists for their dedicated coverage of the Sudan crisis.
She acknowledged the pivotal role they played in raising global awareness and expressed optimism that their continued reporting would translate into heightened support and funding for the Sudanese population and refugees. The press conference concluded, leaving a resounding call to action in its wake.
Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield emphasized the urgency of delivering aid to the Sudanese people who are grappling with dire humanitarian conditions. The situation in Sudan and its impact on neighbouring Chad is a pressing concern.
Despite the substantial US commitment of over $160mn in additional humanitarian assistance, the Ambassador highlighted that this crisis requires a concerted global effort.
The international community's response, as reflected in the humanitarian response plan for 2023, remains significantly underfunded, with less than 30 percent of the necessary funds secured. Urgent calls were made for other countries and donors to step up their contributions to alleviate the suffering in Sudan and Chad.
She added that the US remains steadfast in its commitment to holding individuals accountable for atrocities committed in Sudan, particularly in the Darfur region.
Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield pointed out that the recent imposition of sanctions on individuals linked to Sudan's Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and associated militias serves as a clear message that those responsible for human rights violations will be held accountable.
The sanctions have immediate implications and are part of a broader strategy to deter further abuses. The US is actively reviewing cases and may consider additional sanctions as credible information regarding human rights violations comes to light.
In response to questions about ongoing diplomatic efforts, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield stressed the importance of pressing both sides of the conflict in Sudan to immediately cease hostilities.
The Ambassador confirmed that the US has been actively engaged with regional and international partners, including the African Union, Egad, and neighbouring countries like Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
Diplomatic pressure is being applied to encourage a peaceful resolution to the crisis, with the ultimate goal of ending the suffering of the Sudanese people. The Ambassador reiterated the need for global unity in compelling the warring parties to prioritize peace over power struggles.
Source: Qatar Tribune