By Lisa Vives, Global Information Network
NEW YORK. 24 August 2023 (IDN) — In a long-awaited acknowledgment of the worsening crisis in Sudan, the United States has extended its temporary protected status to Sudanese nationals for 18 months—from 20 October 2023 through 19 April 2025.
Officials of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security cited Sudan’s “extraordinary and temporary conditions in Sudan that prevent individuals from safely returning to their country.” They also cited an “eruption of violent clashes … the killing of hundreds has triggered political instability, violence, and human rights abuses against civilians.”
Further, food and clean water shortages, intercommunal violence, and internal displacement are ongoing. Recent fighting has resulted in tens of thousands of persons fleeing from their homes to neighboring cities and countries. These conditions currently prevent Sudanese nationals and habitual residents from safely returning.
“Since the military takeover of its government and the recent violent clashes, Sudan has experienced political instability and ongoing conflict that has resulted in a humanitarian crisis,” said Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “Under this visa extension and redesignation, we will continue to offer safety and protection to Sudanese nationals until conditions in their home country improve.”
The extension allows approximately 1,200 current beneficiaries to stay in the U.S. until 19 April 2025 if they meet TPS eligibility requirements. An estimated 2,750 additional individuals may also now be eligible for TPS. This population includes nationals of Sudan residing in the United States in nonimmigrant status or without lawful immigration status.
Extensive fighting in the area risks returning Darfur to the bloody attacks of the early 2000s when “Janjaweed” militias—from which the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) was formed—helped the army crush a rebellion by mainly non-Arab groups.
The UN estimates that some 300,000 people were killed, and Sudanese leaders are wanted by the International Criminal Court for genocide and crimes against humanity.
IN JULY, the UN’s special representative to Sudan, Volker Perthes, warned that the conflict showed no signs of a quick resolution and “risked morphing into an ethnicized civil war”.
Diplomatic mediation efforts has so far failed and ceasefires have been used by both sides to regroup.
A release this week from the UN read: “Ahead of World Humanitarian Day on August 19, we mourn the loss of our beloved colleagues, call for perpetrators of attacks on aid workers and assistance to be held accountable, and once again remind parties to the conflict that humanitarians and the aid they deliver should never be a target.”
“The deaths of three World Food Program employees are yet another sign that Sudan is being pulled back into one of the grimmest chapters in its history,” said Eddie Rowe, UN relief coordinator. “Not since the height of the Darfur conflict between 2003 and 2006 has Sudan seen so many fatal attacks on aid workers.”
Humanitarian facilities have also been repeatedly attacked, with at least 53 warehouses looted, 87 offices ransacked, and 208 vehicles stolen as of August 13. [IDN-InDepthNews]
Photo: The United States public health order Title 42 has had the devastating effect of denying so many vulnerable asylum seekers the right to seek protection. The time for the U.S. government to lift these restrictions is long overdue. Source: UNHCR Facebook
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