Speaking to reporters today, Susan Rice, the United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations, castigated the government in Sudan for its decision to expel humanitarian groups. She noted:
"The United States is gravely concerned by the reckless decision of the Sudanese government to expel international aid groups working to ease the suffering of Sudan’s citizens…The humanitarian situation in the country is already dire and this callous step threatens the lives of innocents already suffering from years of war and upheaval… Millions of civilians, including untold thousands of children and elderly people, will be left even more vulnerable to starvation, disease, despair and death if the government of Sudan does not immediately change course… The government of Sudan at its own choosing is now heading down a path toward even greater international isolation."
Reuters reports that Rice told Sudan’s Ambassador Abdalmahmoud Abdalhaleem that Khartoum’s "decision was counterproductive and an "enormous escalation" that would exacerbate the situation on the ground and harm Sudan’s relations with the international community." Rice also noted that the possibility of a no-fly zone is being discussed.