For more than a week, fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces in Sudan has claimed hundreds of lives, injured thousands, and yet again dashed the democratic aspirations of the Sudanese people. Civilians trapped in their homes cannot access desperately needed medicines, and face the prospect of protracted power, water, and food shortages. Those trying to flee face brutality and theft on the streets. And all of this suffering compounds an already dire situation – one-third of Sudan’s population, nearly 16 million people, already needed humanitarian assistance to meet basic human needs before this outbreak of violence.
The United States is mobilizing to ramp up assistance to the people of Sudan ensnared between the warring factions. That is why today I am announcing that the U.S. Agency for International Development has deployed a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) in the region to coordinate the humanitarian response for those in need both within and outside of Sudan. The DART will be operating out of Kenya for the initial phase of the response. Our DART disaster experts are working with the international community and our international partners to identify priority needs and to safely deliver life-saving humanitarian assistance to those who need it most.
The United States has been the largest provider of humanitarian assistance to Sudan for more than a quarter century and our commitment to the Sudanese people is unwavering. This includes our local staff and the staff of our international partners who have dedicated their lives and worked tirelessly alongside the Sudanese people in hopes of building the peaceful, democratic country they deserve.
At a time when many Sudanese families should be celebrating the end of the holy month of Ramadan, they are instead living in terror. The United States demands that the Sudanese Armed Forces and Rapid Support Forces abide by the three-day Eid al-Fitr ceasefire to which they have agreed, end this reckless bloodshed, facilitate humanitarian access, comply with international humanitarian law – including enabling safe and unhindered access for humanitarian and medical workers to reach people in need of life-saving assistance – and honor the Sudanese people’s calls for freedom and peace.