Thursday, February 1, 2024

US Condemns Aid Delays in Sudan | TOME


The United States Urges Sudan to Allow Aid Amidst Humanitarian Crisis

The United States has called on Sudan’s authorities to allow aid into the country, as millions of people are in desperate need of assistance amidst the ongoing war between rival generals. Samantha Power, administrator of the US Agency for International Development, expressed her concern over the shockingly low funding for Sudan’s crisis, with more than half of the population, around 25 million people, requiring aid.

However, even the aid that manages to arrive in Sudan faces obstacles due to ill-disciplined or rapacious forces on the ground and bureaucratic hurdles that have been perfected over decades. Power stated that Sudan presents some of the toughest conditions for humanitarian access in the world, emphasizing that supplies are stuck at the border or in the Port of Sudan due to denied permits to move aid into the country. She described the fact that a permit could prevent life-saving supplies from reaching those in need as horrifying.

Power acknowledged that small-scale local and diaspora groups have stepped in to fill the vacuum left by insufficient aid, but stressed that these groups require more resources to continue their work. If these relief networks were to collapse, millions of Sudanese civilians would be left without any assistance at all.

In September, the United States announced $130 million in new assistance to Sudan. However, violence erupted in April last year between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) when they failed to agree on merging as part of a transition to democracy that has since been derailed. The war has resulted in the deaths of at least 13,000 people and displaced over seven million people, according to estimates by the Conflict Location and Event Data project and the United Nations, respectively.

The United States and Saudi Arabia have led negotiations between the two sides, but with little success. As a result, Washington has increasingly resorted to pressure tactics to coax them into finding a resolution. The Treasury Department recently announced that it was blocking any assets and criminalizing US transactions with the Alkhaleej Bank, which has been a significant source of funding for the RSF. The bank allegedly received $50 million from Sudan’s central bank just before the war broke out.

Other entities targeted by the Treasury Department include the Zadna International Company for Development, which is allegedly involved in money laundering and commercial operations of the army, and Al-Fakher Advanced Works, which has facilitated the RSF’s generation of millions of dollars through gold exports to purchase weapons.

State Department spokesman Matthew Miller emphasized that the United States will continue to utilize all available tools to bring an end to this devastating war, promote accountability, and help the Sudanese people achieve their demands for freedom, peace, and justice. In line with these efforts, the United States has offered a reward of up to $5 million for the arrest of Ahmed Harun, a former Sudanese official who escaped prison and is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes in Darfur.

The situation in Sudan remains dire, with millions of people in urgent need of assistance. The United States is urging Sudan’s authorities to prioritize humanitarian access and allow aid to reach those who desperately require it. With increased funding and support, local and diaspora groups can continue their vital work in providing assistance to those affected by the ongoing conflict. The international community must also play its part in supporting efforts to bring an end to the war and ensure a brighter future for the Sudanese people.

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