- Jan Egelandsecretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council.
As fighting continues in Sudan between the military and the paramilitary group known as the Rapid Support Forces, we speak with Norwegian Refugee Council head Jan Egeland, who says humanitarian work in the country has been paralyzed as a result of the power struggle. “There is hardly any humanitarian work in large parts of Sudan,” says Egeland, who adds that the conflict has already devolved into a war that “will be impossible to stop if it lasts for much longer.”
AMY GOODMAN: This is democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, as we end today’s show with Jan Egeland, secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council, just back from Honduras. But before we go to Honduras, we want to talk about what’s happening in Sudan.
You are the secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council. Can you talk about the level of humanitarian support, if there is any, in Sudan right now as these militaries fight each other and kill the civilians in the crossfire?
JAN EGELAND: Well, at the moment, Amy, there is hardly any humanitarian work in large parts of Sudan, which was a place in deep humanitarian crisis before this senseless intramilitary battle that has engulfed nearly all of the cities, nearly all of the regions. However, I think the story is too much now “Let’s evacuate all of the diplomats,” “Let’s evacuate all of the internationals,” “What will be the role of the Wagner Group,” and so on. I think the real story is that millions of Sudanese are now in a freefall, and those who are worse off are the millions of internally displaced people and the refugees. And that’s why we, the Norwegian Refugee Council, and all of our peer organizations are now planning how to resume work as soon there is a pause in the fighting.
AMY GOODMAN: And, of course, there’s been a ceasefire put in place, one attempted ceasefire, but the militaries don’t honor it. Are you dealing with these leaders, the military leaders of the country?
JAN EGELAND: Well, I’ve reached out to those U.N. envoys who have contact with them. We will also use whatever contacts we can via countries who deal with them, because we need to get to them, that this war will — it’s really a war now. It will be impossible to stop if it lasts for much longer. We still have an opportunity to have a real ceasefire. If they lose completely control over the fighters, as they are in some areas, this will be a nightmare beyond belief.