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US to pressure Security Council to facilitate aid into Sudan from Chad

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If the Sudanese armed forces do not restore full access to aid in the troubled country, the United States has warned that it will press the UN Security Council to take action to get aid to starving people in Sudan, possibly by authorizing cross-border deliveries from Chad.

The US Ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield stated that the warring parties had both compromised aid operations and disregarded a Security Council resolution calling for an immediate end to hostilities, ahead of the conflict’s first anniversary in Sudan.

“The situation in Sudan remains catastrophic and it is only getting worse,” she told reporters. “People are starving.”

War erupted in Sudan on April 15, 2023, between the Sudanese Army ( SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF). More than a million people have fled to neighbouring countries since the brutal conflict in Sudan started in April 2023. Among them are about 378,000 Sudanese refugees and about 48,000 Chadians who were forced to return to eastern Chad.

Thomas-Greenfield accused the SAF of impeding aid from Chad into Sudan’s Darfur region – controlled by the rival RSF – and describing it as “literally a matter of life and death.”

“At the Zamzam camp in North Darfur, a child dies every two hours. Experts warn that in the coming weeks and months, over 200,000 more children could starve to death,” she said, calling on the SAF to immediately fully reopen the border.

“Should they not, the Security Council must take swift action to ensure life-saving aid is delivered and distributed, including – if necessary – through a cross-border mechanism,” Thomas-Greenfield said.

Such an operation has previously been approved by the Security Council; for nine years, it permitted the distribution of humanitarian aid to millions of people, mostly in areas of Syria controlled by the opposition. According to the US, the parties involved in the conflict in Sudan have committed war crimes.

According to US Special Envoy for Sudan Tom Perriello, Washington is considering resuming peace negotiations on Sudan on April 18 in Saudi Arabia

According to UN estimates, 8 million people have fled their homes and nearly 25 million people, or half of Sudan’s population, need aid. The United States claims that the warring parties have committed war crimes.

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Musings From Abroad

55 million people facing severe hunger in West and Central Africa— UN

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A food crisis has been made worse by rising prices in West and Central Africa. In the next few months, nearly 55 million people will have trouble feeding themselves, according to a warning from the United Nations relief groups on Friday.

The groups said that the number of people going hungry during the June–August lean season had quadrupled in the last five years. They further claimed that economic problems like double-digit inflation and stagnant local production were major causes of the crisis, along with ongoing battles in the region.

A joint statement from the World Food Program, UNICEF, and the Food and Agriculture Organization said that Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, and Mali are among the countries most severely affected. In the north of these countries, about 2,600 people are expected to die of extreme hunger.

“The time to act is now. We need all partners to step up … to prevent the situation from getting out of control,” said Margot Vandervelden, WFP’s acting regional director for West Africa.

Malnutrition is very high because of a lack of food, according to the agencies. They say that 16.7 million children under five years old are severely malnourished across West and Central Africa.

Food supplies have made things harder, especially for countries like Ghana, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone which are already dealing with high inflation.

“To respond to the unprecedented food and nutrition insecurity,” said Robert Guei, the FAO’s Sub-regional Coordinator for West Africa, policies should be put in place to increase and diversify local food production.

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Musings From Abroad

Russia begins diesel exports to Sudan as EU boycott bites

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London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) data shows that Russia has started sending fuel to troubled North African country, Sudan.

The sales begin amid new demand for Russia’s refined goods following a trade boycott against it by the EU over the invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

Since February 2023 when the EU put a full ban on importing Russian oil products, diesel has been sent to Brazil, Turkey, and countries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. It has also been loaded from ship to ship.

Data from LSEG shows that two fuel ships, the Pavo Rock and the Conga, brought about 70,000 metric tons of ultra-low sulphur diesel to Sudan after loading it in February at Primorsk in the Baltic Sea. Shipping records show that the goods were unloaded at Port Sudan Al Khair Terminal on April 2 and April 5, respectively.

The Marabella Sun, a ship that was loaded in March at the Russian Baltic port of Vysotsk, is now on its way to Port Sudan and should be unloaded on April 17.

A source quoted by Reuters claims Sudan needs about 45,000 barrels per day (bpd), or 6,000 tons per day, of diesel to meet local demand. However, Sudan’s Petroleum Ministry did not answer a request for comment.

About 60,000 to 70,000 metric tons of diesel are brought into Sudan every month, mostly from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. According to the LSEG, about 116,000 metric tons of diesel came into Sudan in March.

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