US envoy warns regional powers against ‘fuelling’ Sudan war

US envoy warns regional powers against ‘fuelling’ Sudan war
Tom Perriello said any countries offering support for Sudan warring parties fuelling the atrocities committed in the year-long conflict in Sudan
4 min read
19 April, 2024
Diplomats attended the donor conference on Sudan hosted by France to raise urgently needed funds to address the humanitarian disaster in Sudan [GETTY]

The US envoy to Sudan has warned regional powers against continued involvement in the devastating war in Sudan, as the international community meets for a donor conference.

Tom Perriello said any countries offering support for Sudan warring parties are fuelling the atrocities committed in the year-long conflict in Sudan, which has uprooted over eight million Sudanese and plunged the country into a humanitarian catastrophe.

Global powers attended a donor conference in Paris on Monday to garner support for the $4.1 billion needed to help over 14 million people in Sudan and the thousands of refugees in host countries.

In an interview with the Sudan Tribune on Wednesday, Perriello said that the US is concerned about reports that the UAE is allegedly providing financial support to the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), who have been accused of committing crimes against humanity, including mass killings and rapes of civilians.

The US has "directly raised our concerns about this with Emirati officials. We have made clear that provision of arms to either side by any country deepens and prolongs the conflict", the envoy said.

Cutting off external support for the RSF and SAF is essential to ending the violence, Perriello added, saying "Any individual or country that continues to provide material support to either side bears responsibility for fueling atrocities against the Sudanese people and the related desperate humanitarian situation...Provision of weapons to the belligerent parties has to stop".

The fighting erupted between the Sudanese army and the RSF in April 2023, leading millions to flee to neighbouring countries such as Egypt, Chad, Eritrea, and the Central Africa Republic.

The death toll from the conflict is difficult to calculate, with the official number being over 14,000.

However, reports indicate 10,000-15,000 were killed in a city-wide massacre the RSF launched on the West Darfur capital of El-Geneina alone.

Live Story

Some estimates claim over 33,000 civilians have been killed in the fighting, with the killings often being ethnically driven. Women and girls have been subjected to “horrific levels” of sexual violence in the Darfur region of western Sudan, humanitarian groups have said.

Iran has been accused of supplying Sudan's army with military drones, while the UAE has been blamed for providing military support to the RSF. Neither country has publicly stated involvement in the war.

The UN has warned that 18 million Sudanese are facing hunger with the country on the verge of widespread famine.

This week, the UK government announced a round of financial sanctions on businesses that support both the Sudanese army and the RSF. Critics said the sanctions have came a year too late.

The International Humanitarian Conference for Sudan and its Neighbours in Paris this week saw countries pledge $2 billion to Sudan, less than half of what is needed to help, aid agencies said.

The West has been pursuing an end to the violence through diplomacy, but observers say it has done little to defuse the violence.

The latest attempt for a peace deal is expected to begin with meetings in Saudi Arabia in the coming weeks. Jeddah hosted several talks last year until the Sudanese army backed out of negotiations.

Live Story

Meanwhile, the Sudanese army on Wednesday denied media reports that a ship carrying arms headed to Sudan was detained by Egyptian authorities.

"Some news sites and media outlets have published misleading information indicating that the Arab Republic of Egypt had detained a cargo ship that was heading to the Republic of Sudan," the army said in a post on its Facebook page.

"The Sudanese Armed Forces would like to clarify that this information is misleading and incorrect and that the Arab Republic of Egypt has not detained any ship heading to Sudan," it added.

Reports on social media had indicated that Egypt had detained a ship carrying arms for the Sudan Armed Forces, which was on its way to Port Sudan.

Egypt is one of the countries believed to be supporting the Sudanese army in its war against the RSF.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this article contained mistranslated remarks regarding alleged support by the UAE and Iran to the warring parties in Sudan attributed by Sudan Tribune to Envoy Perriello. The article together with Sudan Tribune's original article have been corrected with the verbatim quotes shared by the U.S. State Department.