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The Africa Confidential Blog

  • 14th March 2024

US envoy launches new push for Sudan peace

Blue Lines

With just over nine months until the end of the current administration in the United States, Tom Perriello, a former Congressman and Director of the Open Society Foundation, has his work cut out as President Joe Biden's Special Envoy for Sudan.

Days after his appointment on 26 February, he launched a two-week tour of East Africa, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The purpose of the trip is to 'align efforts to bring an end to the devastating Sudan conflict,' says Perriello. That starts with finding interlocutors that both sides in the conflict will listen to. Attempts at mediating a ceasefire have been repeatedly obstructed by regional players taking sides in the civil war. He will also work closely with Ramtane Lamamra, Algeria's former Foreign Minister and UN Envoy to Sudan.

The early signs underscore the scale of Perriello's challenge. On 8 March, the UN Security Council called for a ceasefire in Sudan during the holy month of Ramadan, urging 'all parties to the conflict to seek a sustainable solution to the conflict through dialogue'. But the Sudan Armed Forces led by General Abdel Fattah al Burhan rejected the call. After retaking control of the state broadcasting company in Omdurman on 12 March, it launched a counter-offensive, winning its first significant victory against the Rapid Support Forces of Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo 'Hemeti' since the civil war started a year ago.