Remarks by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield at a UN Security Council Briefing on Sudan

Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield
U.S. Representative to the United Nations
New York, New York
April 25, 2023


Thank you, Madam President. And let me thank Secretary-General Guterres, Special Representative Perthes, Assistant Secretary-General Msuya, and Special Envoy Wais for your informative briefing. And I want to thank you, particularly for your efforts over the weekend to try to end the carnage and stop the fighting. I also want to welcome the participation of the AU Permanent Observer and the IGAD special envoy.

It goes without saying that we are disappointed the Security Council did not meet again sooner on this crisis as the situation in Sudan demands our urgent attention. The people of Sudan demanded our attention and humanitarians needed to hear from us. This meeting should also demand the attention of the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces because our message today is clear: The fighting must stop immediately and as the Secretary just urged, the killing has to stop.

In no uncertain terms, the United States condemns the continuing violence between the Sudanese Armed Forces and Rapid Support Forces. We call on them to adhere to their latest commitment to implement and uphold a 72-hour ceasefire, which started at midnight on April 24.

We further call on the parties to the conflict to engage regional and international partners, and Sudanese civilian stakeholders. Together, they should form a committee to oversee the negotiation, conclusion, and implementation of a permanent cessation of hostilities, and humanitarian arrangements in Sudan.

The United States strongly supports the continued diplomatic efforts of the African Union, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, the League of Arab States, and UNITAMS to resolve this crisis.

We also welcome the April 20 communique of the Ministerial Special Session involving the UN, IGAD, Arab League, P5, and neighboring and regional partners. These are not separate messages, rather this is the international community speaking with one strong voice. And it’s time the Sudanese military leaders hear our collective call.

In just over a week, and we’ve heard this repeated before, violence between the Sudanese Armed Forces and Rapid Support Forces has killed more than 420 civilians, wounded thousands, endangered the lives of the Sudanese people, of diplomats, humanitarian workers, and forced thousands of people from their homes. We’re also gravely concerned by growing reports of sexual and other physical assaults on civilians.

The rival security forces must abide by international law. They must immediately commit to the safety, security, and protection of civilians, diplomatic missions and personnel, UN staff and facilities, and humanitarian and medical personnel, including ensuring the safe and secure departure of foreign nationals.

We are also extremely concerned for the millions of Sudanese in need of critical humanitarian assistance. According to OCHA, humanitarian needs in Sudan were already at record levels before the recent outbreak of violence. Attacks on humanitarian aid staff, offices, vehicles, equipment, and food stocks have disrupted lifesaving humanitarian operations. Civilians are running out of food, water, fuel, and other vital supplies, and many urgently need medical care.

This is why there must be immediate, full, safe, unhindered, and sustained humanitarian access to all in need. In addition to hundreds of civilians, violence has killed three World Food Program staff and IOM Sudan staff members as well, and we must mourn with their families as well as their colleagues. The suspension of WFP activities will directly affect countless others but, unfortunately, the UN had no choice.

Diplomats – including a U.S. diplomatic convoy – have come under attack and our Embassy has been hit by direct and indirect fire. These acts are reckless and irresponsible and they’re shameful. As you’ve seen, we’re consistently calling on the security forces to protect diplomatic personnel and facilities and civilian and humanitarian infrastructure, consistent with Sudan’s obligation under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

Finally, I want to reiterate there will – and must be – accountability for anyone, including military or political actors, who attempts to undermine or delay Sudan’s democratic progress. The same is true for anyone who is responsible for violations of international humanitarian law and violations or abuses of human rights.

The United States stands in solidarity with the people of Sudan. We stand in solidarity with the humanitarian workers who continue to try to provide assistance. As we have repeatedly said to the Sudanese Security Forces, it’s time to put down your guns and to start talking.

Thank you.