Op-Ed / / 03.14.24

The Hill Op-ed: The flames of war are spreading in Sudan —the time for action is now

Note: This op-ed was originally published in The Hill and was authored by John Prendergast, co-founder of The Sentry, and Anthony Lake, former national security advisor.


The flames of war are spreading in Sudan —the time for action is now

After strong bipartisan encouragement from members of Congress and civil society, the Biden administration has appointed a new special envoy for Sudan, Thomas Perriello. He is a respected diplomat and former member of Congress.

Already traveling in the region, Perriello confronts a burgeoning humanitarian catastrophe in Sudan. Few know about it, as it is taking place largely off camera. But recall that two decades ago, it was only after months of unreported horror that people around the world were finally shocked by the images of genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan.

Then, five years ago, Sudan became a symbol of hope. Supporters of democracy around the world were inspired by the nation’s popular, peaceful demonstrations — and the many young women among their leaders — that led to the overthrow of the dictatorial Bashir regime and the beginning of a process that was supposed to lead to a democratic civilian government.

But then two and a half years ago, the process was halted by a military coup, led both by the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), whose members and leadership are largely drawn from the Janjaweed “Devils on Horseback” who had terrorized Darfur. Few people outside Sudan took much notice of the coup; nor did the coup leaders pay any real price for their actions. …

Click here to read the full op-ed.