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The International Community is Failing Sudan


The Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) condemns the international community for failing to urgently mobilize for Sudan in its urgent time of need. This failure is driven by the historical legacies of anti-Black racism. Sudan has long been a place of refuge to millions of people. Their role in supporting refugees has undoubtedly aided the international community in mitigating the refugee crises that have been accelerated in recent years from global warming, civil conflict, and worsening economic depression. Moreover, Sudan is geographically critical as it is the site where the White and Blue Nile Rivers merge to form the main Nile, and neighboring countries are critically dependent on the river for its water supply. As a result, the ongoing conflict in Sudan is not only a threat to internal security but threatens the livelihood of neighboring communities internationally. 

Sudan has been struggling to transition democratically and return to civilian rule. The ongoing crisis erupted on April 15th when clashes broke out between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). Hundreds of civilians have died and thousands have been displaced across borders. Given the current fighting that has caused millions of people to flee, it is urgent for the international community to intervene and supply immediate aid for Sudan to support peaceful democratic transition. If the conflict continues, it will likely turn into a civil war that will have grave ramifications beyond Sudan and destabilize neighboring regions in the Sahel, the Red Sea and the Horn of Africa. 

When the Ukrainian crisis unfolded, there was immediate attention and aid from international humanitarian organizations to provide swift mobilization of resources and immediate relief to Ukrainian civilians. Dozens of countries and international organizations convened in Paris in 2022 to allot substantial promises of financial support and mobilized immediately to pledge humanitarian assistance. The United States developed several unique pathways like the Unite For Ukraine  (U4U) private sponsorship program that allowed any U.S. citizen to sponsor Ukranians; moreover, the U.S. has sent Ukraine over $26 billion for security assistance since 2014. The European Union also allocated €733 million in financial assistance since 2022 to provide Ukrainian civilians with food, water, mental health, psychosocial support and emergency shelter. International assistance only continues to grow with the US recently authorizing a $375 million security assistance package for Ukraine’s defense and security needs.

In stark contrast, Sudan has seen a significant decrease in the presence of humanitarian organizations since the crisis has unfolded. The international community has instead focused on withdrawing their diplomatic staff and negotiating ceasefires, leaving Sudanese people trapped within their own homes. The African Union has also done little for Sudan beyond warning against external interference in the crisis. There has been no unique private sponsorship programs to allow Sudanese families avenues to migrate into the US nor has there been any substantial development of financial assistance to help the millions of Sudanese civilians battling with famine and psychosocial crises from the toll of the conflict. Sudanese migrants have also faced inhumane conditions at Egypt’s border and thousands of refugees who were awaiting refugee processing to enter Western nations have been left stranded. 

Once again, the only difference we see between the international community’s response to the Sudan crisis versus the Ukrainian crisis is the decision that Black lives are not as deserving of urgent and critical assistance. It is abundantly clear that the resources and financial means to provide humanitarian assistance and refuge are available. It is an atrocity that the United Nations has only received 16% of the $1.7 billion it needs to help 12.5 million people in Sudan. Before Sudan’s crisis escalates even further, we urge the international community to step in immediately and provide the financial and humanitarian assistance necessary for Sudanese people. 

BAJI released this statement on June 12th, 2023. Today, on April 1st 2024, the international community continues to abandon the Sudanese people.