Ambassador Susan Page, the former US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, said, in her interview with the “Behind the News” program, that the US administration’s dealings with the two parties to the conflict in Sudan “did not bring any benefit,” stressing that the State Department’s recent statement mainly blamed the support forces. Al-Sari’i is responsible for committing what it called atrocities in the Darfur region.
However, the American guest made it clear – in her interview with the episode (6/16/2023) of the “Beyond the News” program – that the State Department’s statement also referred to the responsibility of the Sudanese army and its failure to protect civilians in conflict areas, and to a lack of commitment by the two parties, highlighting that this is the time The first time that Washington refers in this way to the two parties to the conflict in Sudan, which it does not see as enjoying legitimacy.
And the US State Department said – in a statement – that the Rapid Support Forces are primarily responsible for committing what it described as atrocities in Darfur, and in a statement the ministry accused the army forces of failing to protect civilians, pointing to the spread of sexual violence and killings on an ethnic basis. The statement called for an end to the fighting, stressing that Washington will continue with its partners to achieve this.
The spokeswoman adds that the US position, which was mentioned in the statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, relied on reports received from the field by Sudanese and actors such as United Nations agencies, as these parties monitored violations of international humanitarian law and atrocities committed in the Darfur region.
Susan – who is also a former advisor to the US Special Envoy to Sudan – expressed her hope that international parties, not only Washington, would exert pressure on the parties to the conflict in Sudan, to avoid bombing infrastructure and committing atrocities in conflict areas, especially as civilians are at the mercy of the warring forces. Whether in Khartoum, Darfur or other conflict areas, she highlighted that the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) took the initiative to solve the crisis, and if it was built upon by working with experts outside the region, this would be a step in the right direction.
It is noteworthy that Martin Griffiths, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations for Humanitarian Affairs, warned earlier that Darfur (western Sudan) is rapidly heading towards a humanitarian catastrophe, and the world cannot allow that to happen again.
Get out of the woods
In his readings of the US State Department’s statement, Sudanese writer and political researcher Muhammad Turshin said that the American position came too late, and that the Americans have information about the RSF committing what he called war crimes and crimes against humanity.
He said that the American statement holding the Sudanese Armed Forces responsible for failing to protect civilians confirms Washington’s recognition of the legitimacy of the Sudanese army and that it is entrusted with protecting civilians and achieving security and stability.
While he accused the regional and international powers of being responsible for the Sudanese crisis because they were not enthusiastic about holding the elections, the writer and political researcher saw that a way out of the current impasse depends on the nature of the initiatives that are put forward, whether by IGAD or from Washington and Jeddah. If the matter was related to radical solutions, integrating the Rapid Support Forces into the army, holding a comprehensive conference for national dialogue, agreeing on an interim government for a specific period, and then entering the electoral process, then the matter would be acceptable.
But if the initiatives proposed to solve the Sudanese crisis will keep the situation as it was before the war, then these initiatives will not succeed and the war will be postponed to a later time, according to what the Sudanese spokesman added to the “Behind the News” program.