Darfur Women Action Group (DWAG) recognizes the actions taken by Samantha Power, Executive Director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in her visit to Sudan from July 31 – August 4. During the first day of her visit, Power visited El Fasher and the Zamzam IDP camp in North Darfur. Both sites have been experiencing a surge in deadly attacks and displacement in recent weeks. Power then travelled to Khartoum, where she met with Prime Minister Hamdok to discuss democratic reforms and how the US will continue to support a transition to civilian-led democracy. During her time in Khartoum, Power also met with youth activists and women journalists to address obstacles to justice for atrocities committed during the 2019 coup, women insecurity across Sudan, and government restriction to free media. DWAG commends her efforts to hear and address the concerns of women and the displaced community 17 years after her last visit to the region as a journalist.
Following her visit, USAID announced a $700 million grant to assist Sudan’s transition to democracy, build capacity of civilian security in Darfur, and increase access to humanitarian aid. The grant gave an additional $4.3 million to support the electoral process and the establishment of an independent electoral commission to prepare for elections in 2024. In Administrator Power’s speech, linked at the top of this article, she announced an additional $56M “of life-saving assistance to help people throughout Sudan’s periphery with emergency healthcare and nutrition; water, sanitation, and hygiene programs; and funds to seek to protect the country’s most marginalized populations.”
DWAG appreciates Administrator Power’s prioritization of aiding and speaking with women and other displaced people in Darfur. DWAG strongly urges Ambassador Power and the US government to understand that accountability, human security, and deep-seated institutional reform throughout and beyond the transition period are prerequisites for stability in Sudan. The US must exert pressure on the interim government to do their own due diligence before seeking US assistance. Without security on the ground there will not be peace. DWAG recognizes and appreciates the pledge made by Administrator Power, however we also wish to remind the US government that peace cannot be sustainable if Sudan can’t take responsibility of protecting the human right of their own citizens or removing those who perpetrated genocide from power. Sudan must pursue accountability for past and present crimes to pave the way for sustainable peace in Darfur and across Sudan.