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Mar 27, 2024, 10:25am EDT
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Semafor Signals

US pushes for Sudan talks

Insights from Financial Times and Foreign Policy

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Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Reuters/File Photo
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The U.S. is hopeful that peace talks between Sudan’s warring parties can resume in mid-April as Washington seeks an end to a conflict that has displaced millions and sparked what the United Nations has called “the world’s largest hunger crisis.”

On Tuesday, the U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan Tom Perriello said that “a number of factors have changed on the ground that make this moment more promising for resolution,” even though he emphasized that the chance of a breakthrough was no higher than 50%.

Perriello said that the U.S. is eyeing holding talks in Saudi Arabia in mid-April, although it is unclear if the Sudanese Armed Forces and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces would agree to negotiate. On Sunday, a top army general said they would not negotiate with the RSF.

The war in Sudan, which started almost a year ago, has forced more than 8 million people from their homes, and U.N. officials have warned that the situation may rapidly deteriorate as Sudan’s “lean season” approaches in May, when food supplies from the last harvest start to run low.

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SIGNALS

Semafor Signals: Global insights on today's biggest stories.

Sudan crisis remains in the shadow of Ukraine and Gaza

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Sources:  
The Financial Times, CBC

The conflict in Sudan “has been largely ignored by the wider world,” the Financial Times’ chief foreign affairs columnist Gideon Rachmann wrote. Rachmann said the war in Sudan has failed to stir up the kind of international concern the conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza have because of what he dubbed “identity geopolitics” — wars are more likely to spark global outrage if people identify with those who are suffering. “It’s Ukraine and it is the horrors of Gaza that is taking all attention,” the head of the Norwegian Refugee Council told CBC, noting that their mission in Sudan was only 10% funded despite the worsening humanitarian catastrophe.

Humanitarian aid for Sudan remains drastically underfunded

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Sources:  
United Nations, Foreign Policy

Some experts have said that the international community should prioritize getting aid into Sudan over another round of negotiations between two parties that show little sign of compromising. Existing U.N. plans to provide lifesaving humanitarian aid have so far received less than half of the funding needed for 2023 and only 5% of 2024’s requirements, even as Sudan’s social and medical services have collapsed and violence against civilians remains rampant. “Until humanitarian efforts take center stage in discussions surrounding Sudan, there will be no winners,” the Sudan researcher Suha Musa wrote for Foreign Policy.

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