US names new special envoy to Sudan in push to end war

US names new special envoy to Sudan in push to end war
# 27 February 2024 04:18 (UTC +04:00)

The United States will appoint a new special envoy for Sudan on Monday, as Washington seeks to bring an end to a war that has wrecked parts of the country and killed tens of thousands, APA reports.

Former diplomat and U.S. member of Congress Tom Perriello will assume the special envoy role, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement provided to Reuters ahead of the announcement, as the U.S. seeks to bring increased focus to the conflict after the failure of talks so far.

In a statement, Perriello said he will build on efforts of partners across Africa and the Middle East to bring an end to the war, a humanitarian crisis and atrocities.

"This appointment reflects the urgency and importance President Biden and Secretary Blinken have placed on ending this war, putting a stop to rampant atrocities against civilians, and preventing an already horrific humanitarian situation from becoming a catastrophic famine," Perriello said.

The U.S. Ambassador to Sudan John Godfrey has left his role, Blinken said in the statement.

Daniel Rubinstein will serve as interim charge d'affaires as director of the Office of Sudan Affairs, Blinken said. He will be based in Ethiopia.

War broke out in Sudan last April over disputes about the powers of the army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) under an internationally-backed plan for a political transition towards civilian rule and elections.

The army and the RSF had shared power with civilians after the fall of former leader Omar al-Bashir in a popular uprising in 2019, before staging a coup two years later.

The fighting has wrecked parts of Sudan including the capital Khartoum, killed more than 13,000 people according to U.N. estimates, drawn warnings of famine, and created an internal displacement crisis.

The Rapid Support Forces are accused by the U.S. of participating in an ethnic cleansing campaign in West Darfur, along with war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The army, which has carried out a widespread airstrike campaign, is also accused of war crimes by the U.S.

Perriello previously served as special envoy for the Great Lakes region of Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and as a U.S. representative from Virginia.

Rubinstein recently led the U.S. delegation at talks on Sudan in the Saudi city of Jeddah. Neither side maintained commitments made in the talks.

The U.S. military evacuated American government personnel from Khartoum in April last year and suspended operations at its embassy there after fighting between Sudan's rival commanders broke out.