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US Envoy Heading to Chad to See Situation of Sudanese Refugees

UNITED NATIONS — U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield will head to the border of Chad and Sudan on Tuesday to meet with refugees from the war in Sudan and the humanitarians who are assisting them.

“With new horrific reports of ethnically motivated mass killings and conflict-related sexual violence in West Darfur, the Sudan conflict risks ongoing mass atrocities and requires an urgent international response,” a senior administration official told reporters Friday.

The official added that the United States continues to work on accountability measures aimed at those responsible for such horrific acts and that the ambassador would have more to say about that on her trip. Washington has repeatedly called for an end to the fighting.

Since hostilities erupted in mid-April between rival generals from the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Security Forces, more than a million people have fled to neighboring countries. Fighting has been fierce in the capital, Khartoum, and in parts of the Darfur region, particularly in West Darfur.

Darfur saw wide-scale ethnic violence and crimes against humanity in the early 2000s. The International Criminal Court opened an investigation into the situation in 2005 and charged then-Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir with genocide. He remains beyond the court’s custody despite having been ousted from power in a military coup in April 2019.

“Sadly, this situation is reminiscent of events that led the United States to make a genocide determination in 2004,” the U.S. official said. “We want to call global attention to what is happening, as we continue to work to rally action in response.”

Thomas-Greenfield, who is a member of President Joe Biden’s Cabinet, will meet with Chad’s transitional president, Mahamat Idriss Deby, to discuss how the conflict is affecting his country, which already hosted some 400,000 Sudanese refugees before the latest violence. She will also meet with members of civil society.

The U.S. official said Thomas-Greenfield is expected to announce new humanitarian assistance during her trip.

The ambassador will also stop in Cape Verde to meet with government officials on a range of bilateral and regional issues and meet with alumni of the Young African Leaders Initiative program.

Source : VOA News