Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield
U.S. Representative to the United Nations
September 6, 2023
Hello, everyone. Thank you for being here. There are days in life that you know – as they’re unfolding – will stay with you forever, that will haunt you. Today was one of those days.
My day in Adré started at the border – where I received a briefing from local officials and representatives from the UN Refugee Agency and the World Food Program – and watched dozens of displaced persons from Sudan stream across the border into Chad. Women with nothing but babies on their backs. Children without water, food, or shelter – fleeing violence and unspeakable atrocities.
I saw just a snapshot of what life is like for the millions of people who have been displaced by the conflict in Sudan. It’s estimated that nearly 400,000 people have crossed into eastern Chad from Darfur since the conflict began in mid-April.
I am immensely grateful to the government of Chad, local communities, and NGO workers for welcoming these refugees – and for all they are doing to support the Sudanese people. But despite their heroic efforts, we know so many refugees are still in need of food, water, health care, and other essentials.
Today, I saw people on the brink of death, including young children. At the Doctors Without Borders hospital, I visited a 250-bed ward where Sudanese children are being treated for acute malnutrition. It is heartbreaking to watch children suffer because of senseless conflict. And we must do everything possible to save lives before it’s too late.
Following this harrowing visit, I met with five women refugees who fled their homes in search of safety. We know women and girls are disproportionately impacted by this conflict. And we know women and girls in Sudan have been subject to rape and widespread sexual violence.
Last month, I chaired the first open UN Security Council briefing on Sudan since the conflict began. And during that briefing, we heard gut-wrenching testimony from UN officials about the scale of sexual violence being perpetrated.
I will never forget the pain in the eyes of the women I met during my tour of the camp. I am shaken – to my core – by the horrors the Sudanese people have endured. And I am determined as ever to share their stories with the world, and to mobilize the international community to respond to this dire crisis.
The United States is committed to doing our part. And to that end, on behalf of the Biden Administration, I have three major announcements to make.
First, we are taking further action to support the victims of this conflict. As we speak, more than 24 million people in Sudan are in need of humanitarian assistance. And nearly 5 million people have been forcibly displaced, including 2 million children.
Today, I am announcing that the United States is providing nearly $163 million in additional humanitarian assistance for the people of Sudan and neighboring countries, including Chad. This brings the total U.S. humanitarian assistance for the Sudan emergency response to nearly $710 million in Fiscal Year 2023.
This additional assistance will provide people in need with food, water, sanitation, health care, and other essentials – and it will help protect vulnerable groups, including women, youth, older persons, and survivors of violence. Our assistance also includes support for communities throughout the region that are generously hosting Sudanese refugees and welcoming returnees.
The United States is the largest single donor for the Sudan emergency response. But we cannot do this alone. A crisis of this magnitude requires a global response. As we speak, less than 30% of the 2023 Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan has been funded. That’s shameful. And I am calling on the international community to do more and give more.
Second, today, the United States is taking action to hold bad actors accountable by sanctioning Abdelrahim Hamdan Dagalo – a senior commander in Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces and the brother of RSF commander Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo – for his connection to abuses by the RSF against civilians in Sudan, including conflict-related sexual violence and killings based on ethnicity.
Third, the U.S. Department of State has imposed visa restrictions on RSF General and West Darfur Sector Commander Abdul Rahman Juma for his involvement in a gross violation of human rights — specifically, for the extrajudicial killings of the Governor of West Darfur, Khamis Abbakar and his brother, Abdelaziz Adam Mohammed, in June. We will continue do everything in our power to prevent and respond to mass atrocities.
As I told the UN Security Council last month, the reported atrocities in Darfur are an ominous reminder of the horrific events that led the United States to determine in 2004 that genocide had been committed in Darfur. But it has been disappointing to see how little attention this brutal conflict has received from the international community.
That’s a big part of why I’m here: To shed light on this grave crisis. When I return to New York, I will share what I learned – and saw – here in Adré with the Security Council. And I will push Member States, and the entire UN system, to stand on the right side of history – and to urge the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces to put down their weapons immediately.