Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield
U.S. Representative to the United Nations
September 6, 2023
QUESTION: They’re among more than 400,000 people who have escaped across the border to Chad from the brutal civil war in neighboring Sudan that erupted in force four months ago. We visited a makeshift camp there today with UN Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who wanted to hear firsthand what they’ve experienced.
AMBASSADOR LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD: And these are her two grandchildren?
REFUGEE: No food, no drinks.
QUESTION: Hasna Ibrahim Yukob (ph) fled with her family after their older brother was killed by the militias, their home destroyed.
QUESTION: What do you hope for?
REFUGEE: We need the peace.
QUESTION: Suwar (ph) feared being targeted because she’s a lawyer, so she fled.
REFUGEE: I’m afraid.
QUESTION: You’re afraid?
QUESTION: This Doctors Without Borders hospital cares for the sick, including a recent measles epidemic and starving children.
AMBASSADOR THOMAS-GREENFIELD: It is overwhelming. I see those little children. I saw a six-month-old who looked like a newborn, and I was told by the doctors that, actually, she was doing better.
QUESTION: But who can heal the pain from the terror they’ve experienced? Many of the women in this makeshift camp tell of being raped by the marauding militias, who kill the men and steal the boys to recruit them. It has led the UN to start investigating a possible genocide. Humanitarian officials are reporting mass graves. I went to the Darfur region of Sudan in 2005 with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. That was declared a genocide. Eighteen years later, history is repeating itself, and the leaders of the previous horrors have still not been brought to account.
AMBASSADOR THOMAS-GREENFIELD: Now we are seeing the evidence of it starting again. What we see happening in Darfur right now portends to what we saw happening in Darfur in 2004. So we have gone backward in those years.
QUESTION: The UN says it needs a billion dollars more to feed, house, and heal the refugees, and so far has raised only a third of that – hardly enough to deal with a tragedy of this scale. But today the Ambassador announced the U.S. did sanction some militia leaders for mass atrocities, and another $163 million in aid, with no end in sight for the war and a flood of its desperate victims. Andrea Mitchell, NBC News, Adré, Chad.