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Jeddah process on Sudanese crisis have political, humanitarian purposes: US official

Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland speaks at the Senate on May 10, 2023

Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland speaks at the Senate on May 10, 2023

May 10, 2023 (KHARTOUM) -The purpose of the Jeddah talks is to bring the warring parties in Sudan to sign a humanitarian truce, followed by talks on a permanent ceasefire and civilian-led government, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland told U.S. senators.

On Wednesday, The Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing on the ongoing conflict in Sudan entitled: “Options for an Effective Policy Response.”

Nuland briefed the senators about the efforts of the American administration to end the fighting in Khartoum and deliver humanitarian assistance to the war-affected civilians in the country.

“We have narrowly scoped the talks to focus on 1) securing an agreement on a Declaration of Humanitarian Principles; and 2) implementing a long- enough ceasefire to facilitate steady delivery of badly needed services,” she said.

“If this stage is successful, it would then enable expanded talks with additional local, regional, and international stakeholders toward a permanent cessation of hostilities and civilian-led rule,” the diplomat further stressed.

Nuland had to make the briefing of the members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as the Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Molly Phee is leading the American team to the Jeddah talks including US Ambassador to Sudan  John Godfrey.

Unconfirmed reports say that the two sides have agreed on a humanitarian truce and it would be signed on Wednesday or Thursday.

The Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs disclosed that they have made it clear to the warring parties that military means will not resolve the ongoing crisis.

“We have also made clear that the U.S. is prepared to use more coercive measures to hold accountable those responsible for stealing Sudan’s future,” she underscored.

The senior diplomat recalled that the Executive Order issued by President Biden on May 4th empowers the U.A administration to impose potential sanctions in the future.

The committee’s members particularly Senator Bon Menendez strongly criticized the action of the Administration and the State Department on Sudan.

“I want to put the blame on the State Department and the administration for foreign policy failure that have been many years in the making,” Menendez added.

In February 2022, Menendez called for sanctions on the coup leaders. But the Assistant Secretary for African Affairs declined the request saying they believe that some of them are committed to democratic rule.

(ST)