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US wants more funding in response to Sudan conflict

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The United States Special Envoy to Sudan says that Washington will push for more than $100 million in extra funding to help with the conflict in the North African country. Washington hopes to rally other donors at a conference this month for donors to talk about the humanitarian crisis.

Partners from around the world should give the Sudanese civil war more attention, according to Special Envoy Tom Perriello, who also hopes that more countries will show their support at a donor meeting in Paris on April 15.

The Sudanese Army (SAF) and the militia Rapid Support Forces (RSF) went to war on April 15, 2023. Since the terrible fighting in Sudan began in April 2023, more than a million people have fled to nearby countries. About 48,000 Chadians were forced to return to eastern Chad and about 378,000 Sudanese refugees are among them.

“The international response has been pitiful. We’re at 5% of the needed amount,” said Perriello, adding that the U.S. has already committed over a billion dollars in humanitarian relief to the conflict.

“We’ll be doing another nine-figure push around this,” he said, without elaborating.

Millions of people are now severely hungry because of the war, which has also caused the world’s biggest migration crisis and waves of killings and sexual violence based on ethnicity in the Darfur area of western Sudan.

Perriello said that the US will keep looking at what is happening on the ground and will take steps to make things more expensive as needed through sanctions and other methods. Because of the war, the US has put sanctions on the deputy head of the RSF, other big companies owned by both sides and other groups.

Perriello also said that peace talks probably wouldn’t start again on April 18, which is the date he had said before that Washington was looking at. Saudi Arabia and the US tried to make peace in Jeddah last year, but the talks did not go well.

“I don’t think we’ll see meetings in Jeddah on the 18th,” he said, adding that Washington is not waiting for formal talks to begin but that negotiations are happening every day.

“We would love frankly for the talks to have started last week. But what we know is the Saudis are committed to the talks, to talks that include a broader set of the key actors, and we are hoping that they will commit to a date.”

The UN says that 8 million people have left their homes and that 25 million people, or half of Sudan’s population, need help. The US says that both sides of the conflict have done crimes during the war.

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Musings From Abroad

Production at China’s $1 billion Tsingshan steel mill in Zimbabwe begins

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A corporate official announced on Thursday that Tsingshan Holding Group, a $1 billion steel mill in central Zimbabwe, is now producing nickel, the largest nickel producer in China.

During a factory tour, project director Wilfred Motsi informed reporters that Tsingshan’s Dinson Iron and Steel Company will produce 600,000 metric tons of carbon steel annually during the first phase of operations.

“We have started to produce pig iron, which is a raw material used for the production of steel. By July, that’s when we will start to produce the actual carbon steel,” Motsi said.
He did not say how long the first phase would last.

Tsingshan, a prominent global producer of nickel, has made noteworthy investments in Zimbabwe throughout the past few years. In addition to the steel mill, Tsingshan operates enterprises in southern Africa that mine lithium, ferrochrome, and coking coal.

In Dinson, the business has constructed a 50-megawatt thermal power plant. To meet 20% of its electricity needs, the steel plant will use the gas produced by its furnace to generate additional power.

To lessen the negative effects of Zimbabwe’s electricity shortages on its operations, the company also intends to construct a solar power facility.

The total estimated value of iron and steel imports from Zimbabwe in 2020 was $128 million. Compared to the previous year, when the products were imported to the tune of about 114 million U.S. dollars, this represented an increase in value.

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Musings From Abroad

Russia eyes more partnership with South Africa as Putin congratulates Ramaphosa

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Kremlin leader, Vladimir Putin, has congratulated Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa on his reelection as president.

On the Kremlin website, a statement from Putin’s phone conversation with Ramaphosa was posted: “Hope was expressed for continued joint work on further strengthening of the partnership between Russia and South Africa in all its aspects.”

Parliament reelected Ramaphosa on Friday. However, the creation of a government composed of five parties so far was spurred by his African National Congress party’s inability to secure a majority in last month’s election—the first such loss in thirty years.

Since the invasion in 2022, Russia and Ukraine have been competing with one another for support from African countries, sending their foreign ministers on many regional tours.

Like many other African nations, South Africa has deep ties to Moscow that go back to the Soviet era, when Moscow was a major supporter of the ANC’s campaign to end apartheid and other liberation organizations.

After opposing Russia’s invasion in February 2022, South Africa has since taken a more nuanced stance, abstaining from many votes in the UN General Assembly denouncing Russian actions.

South Africa spent the weekend in the “peace summit” on Ukraine, which was hosted by Switzerland. Even though several controversial issues were left out to get broader support, Saudi Arabia, India, Indonesia, Mexico, and other countries declined to sign the final communiqué.

As the host nation for the BRICS summit in 2023, South Africa was faced with a difficult decision: even though the Russian president had an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court of Justice for allegedly deporting Ukrainian children, the country thought about inviting Putin to the event.

South Africa has maintained relations with Russia and has opened stands against Western powers in global politics in recent times.

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