US urges UN Security Council action to get aid into Sudan from Chad

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The United States warned on Thursday that it would push the UN Security Council to take action to get aid to starving people in Sudan, possibly by authorizing cross-border deliveries from Chad, if the Sudanese armed forces do not restore full access.

Ahead of the one-year anniversary of the conflict in Sudan, US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said the warring parties had both undermined aid operations and ignored a Security Council call for an immediate cessation of hostilities.

“The situation in Sudan remains catastrophic and it is only getting worse,” she told reporters. “People are starving.”

War erupted in Sudan on April 15, 2023, between the Sudanese army (SAF) and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF). The UN says nearly 25 million people – half Sudan’s population – need aid, some 8 million have fled their homes and nearly 5 million could suffer catastrophic hunger in the coming months.

Thomas-Greenfield accused the SAF of impeding aid from Chad into Sudan’s Darfur region – controlled by the rival RSF – and describing it as “literally a matter of life and death.”

“At the Zamzam camp in North Darfur a child dies every two hours. Experts warn that in the coming weeks and months over 200,000 more children could starve to death,” she said, calling on the SAF to immediately fully reopen the border.

“Should they not, the Security Council must take swift action to ensure life saving aid is delivered and distributed, including – if necessary – through a cross-border mechanism,” Thomas-Greenfield said.

The Security Council has authorized such an operation before – for nine years it allowed the delivery of humanitarian aid from neighboring countries to millions of people largely in opposition-held areas of Syria.

The United States says the warring parties in Sudan have committed war crimes. Washington is eyeing April 18 for a possible resumption of peace talks on Sudan in Saudi Arabia, U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan Tom Perriello said on Tuesday.

Between 10 000 and 15 000 people were killed in one city alone in Sudan’s West Darfur region last year in ethnic violence by the RSF and allied militia, according to a UN sanctions monitors report seen by Reuters in January.