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Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield U.S. Representative to the United Nations New York, New York April 29, 2024


Good morning, everyone. This seems to be moved up. Let me thank all of you for being here this morning.

Today, the UN Security Council met to discuss the crisis in El Fasher, which is on the precipice of a large-scale massacre.

This is not conjecture. This is the grim reality facing millions of people in El Fasher in North Darfur.

There are already credible reports that the RSF and its allied militias have razed multiple villages west of El Fasher. And as we speak, the RSF is planning an imminent attack on El Fasher.

As I’ve said before, history is repeating itself in Darfur in the worst possible way.

And an attack on El Fasher would be a disaster on top of a disaster. It would put five hundred thousand internally displaced persons at risk, people who traveled from across Darfur to seek refuge. And that’s on top of the two million Sudanese who call El Fasher home.

A crisis of epic proportions is brewing, and to avoid further death, destruction, and suffering five things need to happen, immediately.

First, the RSF must end its siege and build-up of military forces in El Fasher, and swear off any attack on the city. All parties to the conflict must take urgent steps to de-escalate. The UN Security Council already called for this, but that’s not enough. Every single Member State must speak out. The entire international community must speak out.

Second, armed actors in Sudan must respect international law and protect civilians, and recall the ICC’s jurisdiction to investigate war crimes.

Third, all regional powers must stop providing weapons to both parties in accordance with the UN arms embargo.

Fourth, the warring parties must engage in direct negotiations in Jeddah. Because this conflict will not be solved on the battlefield, it will be solved at the negotiating table.

Fifth and finally, all parties must enable full, rapid, safe, and unhindered humanitarian access, including cross-border and cross-line access.

Right now, 5 million – 5 million people in Sudan are on the brink of famine, and tens of millions of people are in desperate need of aid. And yet, the warring parties continue to obstruct humanitarian access and aid.

Members of the press: I have an urgent ask of all of you. Please help us warn the world about the grave dangers facing the people of El Fasher who are trapped under the threat of violence, of massacre. The people of Sudan are counting on all of us at this moment of peril.

I thank you, and I look forward to your questions.

QUESTION: Thank you, Ambassador. Gabriel Elizondo, from Al Jazeera English. Thank you for doing the stakeout. A follow up, ma’am. In terms of armed actors and refrain from external influence – how important is that? And specifically, is the U.S. talking to other countries in terms of alleviating that, particularly the UAE? Thank you.

AMBASSADOR LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD: That is particularly important, because we do know that both sides are receiving support, both with weapons and other support to fuel their efforts to continue to destroy Sudan. And yes, we have engaged with parties on that, including with our colleagues from the UAE.

QUESTION: Ambassador, a question on the speculation in the media about a possible ICC arrest warrant for senior Israeli officials. Is the United States intervening on Israel’s behalf with the ICC? What role are you playing in terms of how this might play itself out?

AMBASSADOR THOMAS-GREENFIELD: The ICC is an independent organization, and their efforts are being undertaken without any contact or interference by the U.S.

QUESTION: Thank you very much, Madam Ambassador. First, a follow-up on Sudan. Is there anything else that the Security Council can do, particularly to put pressure on the countries that are fueling this conflict with weapons to stop doing that. And secondly, could you give us an update on what’s happening with the U.S. pier that’s being constructed off Gaza?

AMBASSADOR THOMAS-GREENFIELD: On the question of what the Security Council can do – and I would say also what we can do as individual countries – we have raised this as a concern. It was raised today in our closed consultations. It has been raised in open consultations. And we have appealed strongly to all of the countries who are providing support to the warring parties to cease that support and we will continue to pressure those countries to do that.

Edie, I don’t have an update on the pier. Can we get back to you on that?

MR. NATE EVANS: Sorry, I think that’s all we have time for today.

AMBASSADOR THOMAS-GREENFIELD: Yeah, that’s it. Thanks everyone.

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