THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
STATEMENT BY THE PRESS SECRETARY
The Administration condemns the new military offensive by the armed forces of the Government of Sudan on populations in the South. These outrageous attacks on civilian and military targets demonstrate a callous lack of concern for the lives of innocent Sudanese and a disregard for efforts to promote peace. This offensive will only increase the suffering of the Sudanese people, create thousands of new refugees and undermine the ongoing international humanitarian relief effort.
In response, the President has directed a number of diplomatic and humanitarian actions to be taken. He has instructed Ambassador Donald Petterson in Khartoum to protest vigorously this military action to the Government of Sudan. The State Department called in the Sudanese Ambassador in Washington to underscore our concern over the military offensive and especially the indiscriminate bombing of civilians. Our Ambassador in Kenya is urging leaders in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Eritrea to redouble their efforts, through the Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Development (IGADD), to stop the fighting and to bring about peace in Sudan. The President also intends to appoint a high-level Special Envoy to Sudan to assist efforts to achieve a cease fire and permanent peace agreement there.
Since Fiscal Year 1993, we have provided more than $160 million in humanitarian assistance to the people of southern Sudan. In response to this latest tragedy, we are consulting with nongovernmental organizations in order to identify new ways to facilitate humanitarian assistance in Sudan. We are also conducting an assessment of anticipated needs in preparation for increased food aid to Sudanese refugees in Uganda, Kenya and Zaire. We will consult with our Special Humanitarian Representative for Sudan, Ambassador John Burroughs, when he returns next week.
Despite the Government of Sudan's participation in regional humanitarian summits, it continues to violate humanitarian principles, causing further loss of life and hardship in the region. We call on the Government of Sudan to cease these actions and recognize that the future political and economic stability of Sudan depends upon all parties' respecting basic humanitarian principles.
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