WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today released the following statement in response to fighting in Sudan between the army and paramilitary forces:
“The events of the last few days in Sudan, like in 2019 and 2021, reflect a clear pattern of behavior where strongmen try to rule the country through violence. Unfortunately, the international community and regional actors fell prey, again, to trusting junta Generals Burhan and Hemetti when they said they would hand power to civilians. Playing along with their games has divided the pro-democracy movement and further weakened the hand of civilians. It is clear we need a fundamental shift in U.S. diplomacy.
“Last year, Congress passed a joint resolution clearly stating that the military junta was the major obstacle to Sudanese democracy and that the Biden Administration needed to act to hold it accountable for human rights abuses, corruption, and anti-democratic actions. To date, this has not happened. Instead, the international community gave these selfish and brutal leaders more time to run out the clock through a conspiracy of optimism.
“Regardless of who started the current fighting, the Biden Administration must take immediate steps to sanction Generals Burhan and Hemetti, and other senior security officials, push the international community to do the same, and take action to curb the influence of external actors providing aid to the junta. Beyond this, the administration must recognize the ongoing crisis in Sudan represents yet another fundamental change in the political and security landscape that requires a change in the U.S. approach. There is no going back to business as usual. For the sake of the Sudanese people and U.S. national security interests, the Biden Administration should finally listen to Congress.”
On May 11, 2022, the Senate passed a bipartisan joint resolution of Congress on Sudan's October 2021 coup. The House of Representatives passed this resolution on July 14, 2022.