US names Tom Perriello envoy for Sudan crisis

AFP , Tuesday 27 Feb 2024

The United States on Monday named a special envoy on Sudan in a new push to persuade dueling generals to lay down their weapons after 10 months of bloodshed.

Tom Perriello
Former congressman Tom Perriello earlier served as special envoy for Africa s Great Lakes region. AP


Tom Perriello, a former congressman who earlier served as special envoy for Africa's Great Lakes region, "will coordinate the US policy on Sudan and advance our efforts to end the hostilities, secure unhindered humanitarian access and support the Sudanese people as they seek to fulfill their aspirations for freedom, peace, and justice," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

War broke out in April last year between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces as they failed to find a way to merge as part of a derailed path to civilian rule.

Thousands have died, 1.6 million people have fled and around 25 million people -- more than half the population -- have been forced to rely on international aid, according to UN and independent figures.

The United States and Saudi Arabia have led a series of talks between the two sides that have seen only minor achievements.

US lawmakers had pushed for months for the creation of the position to prioritize Sudan, although Perriello's appointment also will serve to fill a vacuum as the US ambassador in Khartoum, John Godfrey, has concluded his tenure.

Godfrey had been the first US ambassador in Khartoum in a quarter century, a sign of hope after the toppling of longtime dictator Omar al-Bashir.

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