Scott Presses U.S. State Department on Laggard Evacuation of American Citizens from Sudan, Inadequate Foreign Policy
WASHINGTON – Today, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) addressed Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland and expressed concern about the foreign policy failures leading up to the current crisis in Sudan. He also criticized the State Department’s inability to swiftly evacuate American citizens when violence erupted in Khartoum. While the Department was able to quickly evacuate U.S. personnel, the ability of other countries to safely evacuate their citizens before the Department even began to assist with the evacuation of American citizens demonstrates an incredibly dangerous lack of planning from the administration.
Click here to watch Senator Scott’s remarks and questions.
Senator Scott’s remarks as delivered:
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, thank you to both the witnesses for being here today and Ms. Charles, [it’s] good to see you from South Carolina, but I wish it was under different circumstances. But certainly, I’m always happy to see a South Carolinian representing our nation.
It has been nearly a month since the outbreak of the hostilities in Sudan. Since then, we’ve seen ceasefire after ceasefire fail. Hundreds of thousands have fled their homes. Nearly six hundred have been killed [and] five thousand injured—figures that are likely underrepresented.
Hospitals have been attacked, medical care is scarce, access to food and water is quickly running out…the situation seems to be only getting worse. All this is the direct result of two selfish men and their desire to keep power—really, at all costs it seems to me—at the expense of their own people, propped up in part by the inadequacy of U.S. policy.
Apart from the loss of civilian lives, I’m greatly concerned about the risk that further instability in Sudan can cause to regions beyond it. I’ll start with the easy question Ms. Nuland: how did we get to where we are and how do we bring the conflict to an end—particularly not with one strong man, but two strong men, who overthrew the powers [at be]?
Quick thought on evacuation plans for Americans and the challenges we seem to face. I’d say if we look at the fact that France was able to evacuate 500 people in the first 48 hours, Germany 700, China about 2000—all before the US even started to support the evacuation efforts of American citizens, my thought is why? And second…I think about the South Carolinians in Khartoum calling my office asking for assistance [and] there seems to be no actual plan they’ve received from the State Department, so I’d love to hear what happens next and how we do a better job for citizens who want to leave.