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Desperate Civilians try to Flee as Fighting Rages; Kirby: "Vast Majority" of Americans in Sudan Dual-Nationals; Blinken: U.S. Supporters Efforts to end Hostilities in Sudan; Russian FM Lavrov Chairs U.N. Security Council Meeting; United Nations: We will not Leave Sudan; Diplomats Clash over Ukraine at Russian-Chaired UNSC Meeting. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired April 24, 2023 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ELENI GIOKOS, CNNI HOST: This hour evacuations continue in Sudan as the situation on the ground becomes more desperate. But first your headlines
this hour; Russia's top diplomat Sergei Lavrov is Chairing the U.N. Security Meeting at this hour the Black Sea Green Deal critical to the
survival of millions of people is expected to come up for discussion. That's after Moscow is threat to end the agreement, outrage and concern in
the EU after a top Chinese diplomat questioned the sovereignty of Former Soviet Republics.
China's Ambassador to France Lu Shaye says the countries that were once part of the Soviet Union don't have effective status in international law.
And five people were wounded in a car ramming attack at a popular market in central Jerusalem emergency services said police there now calling it a
All right, welcome back to the second hour of "Connect the World"! Foreign powers have been rescuing embassy staff and citizens caught in Sudan's
deadly fighting. The U.S. has pulled out almost 100 people and the European Union more than 1000.
But as people flee on the ground, many Sudanese are stuck in deteriorating conditions trapped in their homes with dwindling food. They have a choice;
stay put or desperately looks for an exit route out of the country via its land borders.
That journey to Egypt is fraught with danger and complications rates from opportunities, exorbitant costs and several checkpoints. And bear in mind,
evacuation efforts are not over yet. There could be thousands of Americans still stuck in Sudan.
So tonight we ask how to escape the violence in Sudan. One week ago, I spoke to two residents who were visiting family and sheltering in Khartoum.
At that time fighting had been going on for three days. This is what she told me.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is where we're not prepared for that. We are civilians. We don't have anything in our hand or like to be prepared for
something like that. We didn't even know that something's got -- something like that is going to happen. We are in very anxious situation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS: All right. Well, today, this woman, a U.S. permanent resident sent U.S. a desperate message on WhatsApp. We are stuck between the two borders
for more than seven hours she writes and we have very old family members on board and they are very sick. We tried everything to get to the other side,
but we can't find a solution. Would you please shed a light on that so we can get an emergency assistance and help?
She sent these photos at the green border crossing Sudan's border with Egypt about a 13 hour bus ride from outside Khartoum. As far as we know.
She and her family are still stuck at the border. Another woman Noon (ph) a Sudanese national shared her journey on a detailed Twitter thread to help
others trying to make the journey as well.
She sent us this video from that same border crossing. She then took the route from Khartoum to the neighboring City of Omdurman to one of the major
bus stations she described being stopped twice by the military and once by the RSF and being quickly let go due to having elderly people with her.
From there she took the long 13 hour journey before crossing into Egypt. Now it took another 20 hours after crossing the border traveling first to
Aswan, Egypt and finally taking a train to the Capital Cairo where she is now. The trip in total was around $200 which may not sound like a lot some
people but keep in mind the GDP per capita in Sudan as of 2021 last year, data is available was only around $750 per person annually.
After detailing her journey she offered this advice, put your money in different places, so not all of it gets taken if anything happens. If you
are stopped by anyone at a checkpoint and they are asking for anything please cooperate.
Your life is more important. Stop to buy food and carry plenty of water as there aren't any shops or restaurants after you leave Khartoum. And she
said the trip was long it was scary and tiring. But worth it's in the end.
Well, I want to bring in Muna Daoud whose parents are stranded in Sudan right now. Muna is joining me from London, thank you so much for your time
Muna. It is a difficult situation.
MUNA DAOUD, PARENTS STRANDED IN OMDURMAN, SUDAN: Thank you.
GIOKOS: I want you to first tell me about the situation. What situations are your parents in right now? How concerned are you?
DAOUD: I'm extremely concerned. First of all, this is extremely heartbreaking. We never anticipated this happening to Sudan or to our
families and our hearts go out to everybody who's lost someone and everybody who's grieving right now.
My parents are, you know, they're in Sudan. They were visiting me in Nigeria, actually, less than a week ago. And they were in Sudan for three
days when this broke out, and they were supposed to leave on the fourth day to Saudi to visit with my brother.
And now they're trapped in their home in Omdurman, with no way to leave. They don't have access to a working car. And they simply receive no
guidance from the embassy, no contact, no evacuation plan, and no help as to where they can go. They were told to shelter in place, and then
everybody left. So I'm extremely worried as they're elderly, and they need help.
GIOKOS: Yes. And you're describing a situation and you're describing, you know, lack of communication, what we know is that you've been the one
feeding a lot of communication and updates to your parents, but your parents are American, right?
And you've seen the images, especially on CNN, where we're showing diplomats being evacuated through Djibouti. The big question then becomes
how other Americans that are stranded in Sudan right now going to be assisted? Is there no communication thus far from the United States?
DAOUD: Unfortunately and you know, I'm sad to say that they simply got not a single phone call, not an email, asking how they are updating them on
information. We were the ones hunting down information, because internet in Sudan has been spotty, looking at websites, looking at the U.S. Embassy
website, and Sudan, trying to get information to them.
And all the information that was constantly relayed was to shelter in place as if there was a plan coming. But it turns out that nothing came, no help
came. And now, all the American phone lines like the U.S. Embassy phone lines are simply not working, and there's nobody to contact. So we're quite
GIOKOS: So you've actually reached -- so you've reached out, because I mean, the U.S. State Department is also said, look, we think there are
about 16,000 Americans in Sudan, we would not really sure. And obviously, they can't know everyone that's on the ground. Have you actually registered
that your parents are there? So they know their location?
DAOUD: Yes. They've registered every time they've gone to Sudan. They're registered right now. We've emailed the embassy. We've called the embassy.
My brother in Saudi has called the ACS in Saudi to try to see what we can do. Wrote a letter to the White House, I don't know what more we can do.
Because we simply just want to get them out, or at least have their assistance and guidance in getting them to port Sudan, which is where
they're saying they're evacuating people. But how do we get our families from Khartoum to Port Sudan? That's the point.
And it seems like there's simply no communication, no care whatsoever, given to anybody, any American Sudanese citizens currently in Sudan. And
that's been heartbreaking.
GIOKOS: I want you to take a listen to this White House says it's not safe to evacuate American citizens from Sudan right now. I want you to listen in
to what John Kirby had said earlier.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KIRBY, U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL SPOKESPERSON: Don, I want to push back on this idea that there's 16,000 Americans who want to get out.
We don't have firm estimates of the exact number of Americans citizens who are in Sudan; they don't have to register with us. They don't have to tell
us that they're there.
We think the vast majority of these American citizens in Sudan, and they're not all in Khartoum are dual nationals. These are people who grew up in
Sudan who have families there, work there businesses there who don't want to leave. So I think we need to be careful about that number.
There's a much smaller population of American citizens who don't work for the government, but work with partner agencies like the American School or
Fulbright Scholar Program that we are in touch with. And we're trying to get them the best information we can to get out and as I said, several
dozen we know today are in that UN convoy heading to Port Sudan.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS: Muna just heard Kirby there, what do you think?
DAOUD: Honestly I don't know. I don't know what to say that. I don't know if there are different classes of citizens when it comes to the United
States of America. But I do know that my American -- my parents are American citizens. They are also Sudanese citizens.
But I also know that my brother and sister live in America. I live in Nigeria, my other brother lives in Saudi Arabia, they have deep ties and
connections to Sudan, and we love our country and countrymen very much.
But we do expect assistance and help from the American government when lives are at risk anywhere in the world and my parents deserve the dignity
and the respect of being saved and rescued by their home country yes.
GIOKOS: Muna, the one you know, some of the lines that we're getting is that that the United States will use other convoys and other exit options
that are being led by other countries.
And that is one of the lines that you know, we've been reporting on. Have they -- have they been information to go to certain points where you know
people can be evacuated has there been no such communication?
DAOUD: There has not been any direct communication from the embassy to my parents, not a single communication. I did hear about certain convoys that
is taking American citizens along with them. I did hear about a Turkish convoy.
But these are all like, gathered online through Instagram through Facebook, like none of it is verified and none of this is through the embassy. And
all of it is high risk because we don't know the source. There was chatter about a Turkish convoy that is going to skirt Americans along with them.
However, they were canceled last minute due to fighting. I do understand that it might not be safe to evacuate citizens. However, it's not safe for
citizens to remain there either. So I don't know what the plan is.
DAOUD: But there should be a plan. Yes.
GIOKOS: And it's major uncertainty. You said your parents are in Omdurman. Have they described what the situation and what the security situation is
like in that city at this stage? Do you have access to enough food to enough water? What is their state right now?
DAOUD: They're currently sheltering in place; Omdurman has been relatively quieter than other parts of Khartoum. But this morning, my mom was
describing the constant sound of shelling overhead. They have not been venturing outside.
They've been making do with the supplies that they have at home. They're running low on water, food and medication that's needed for my father's
health. And the situation -- the security situation is deteriorating, because there is, you know, aside from the warring factions, we have now,
criminals that were let go of jails that are looting. You hear all these stories. So they're pretty terrified. And they need help. Yes.
GIOKOS: Yes. Muna, I can see you're very worried. We wish your parents safe passage to safety. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. Thank
DAOUD: Thank you.
GIOKOS: That was Muna Daoud. Her parents are stuck in Sudan, trying to find a way out as we're waiting to hear more guidance from the United States.
We've got Oren Liebermann at the Pentagon for us, perhaps Oren you could offer a little bit of insight into what the next steps are.
We know that diplomats were evacuated, they were flown to Djibouti. A lot of other Americans are stuck. I mean, with the numbers range between, you
know, up to 16,000 people we just heard from a woman who is trying to get her parents out, and she's saying the U.S. government, embassies are not
communicating or giving sufficient information. Do we know what's going on in the background?
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, the U.S. says it's in touch with several 100 Americans. It hasn't given a more specific number on
that. It's certainly not the 16,000. The administration has made clear it believes that many of those are dual nationals, who have given no
indication to the U.S. government that they want to leave.
And in terms of how to leave first, the Strategic Coordinator for the National Security Council has said leaving trying to get out may not be
safe at the moment and shelter in place may be the safer idea as the situation deteriorates throughout Sudan but especially in Khartoum.
But also the U.S. has deployed effectively drones above Sudan to monitor some of the routes out of the country for those trying to escape that would
be to some of the land borders, perhaps, but also crucially to the water to the Red Sea in Port Sudan, where the U.S. is deploying--
GIOKOS: All right, Oren, I have to interrupt you. I'm so sorry. The U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is currently addressing the Sudan issue.
Let's listen in.
ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: --to the M 23, which is what the Congolese seem to want. And can you tell us what the latest is with
negotiations to renew the mandate of the East Africa community regional force? And here as well what role can the U.S. play?
And then finally on trade, perhaps we can talk about agriculture specifically, which is a very big deal to the Kenyans. Obviously, what kind
of progress are we making in the bilateral talks on agriculture and particularly U.S. GMO exports to your country? Thank you so much.
ALFRED MUTUA, KENYAN MINISTRY OF FOREIGN DIASPORA AFAIR SECRETARY: Thank you very much. As members of EGAD, we have decided to be at the forefront
in finding a solution to all these problems. We do believe that we are a good place because the two warring leaders are talking to us.
So that's a good sign. You know, they're not -- when you talk when they're being talked to they're talking back and we're able to open the channels of
communication. The fighting is still going on in Sudan, but we just feel that at least we have an entryway. They have not locked themselves up and
shut their ears to the wall. They are listening to the world and they know the pressure that is you know is being felt around them.
Our president is ready; we have said that Kenya is ready at any moment's notice. Even if our President may not be able to go there, immediately, we
are ready to start discussions. And that's the message we are communicating to them is it send us part of your teams, let's start talk talking about
what needs to be achieved, because there's a reason they're fighting.
They're fighting because they can't agree about something. And we need to be able to sort out what they can't agree about, find a common, agreeable
ground and then be able to move forward. And this is also under the auspices of the African Union.
The African Union had a ministerial meeting where they call the session of fighting, where they called for dialogue. And so this is part of the
process, what you're doing as Kenya is that we're not just going to wait, we're saying we've put stuck our necks out and say, we can provide a
solution we've been in this game for some time.
We've kind of have a bit of experience on how these things are done. And we love the people of Sudan, so much that we say that we are ready to commit
ourselves to hosting mediation between the two of you, or the two warring groups and trying to find solution so that the innocent people of Sudan,
great people of Sudan, who are suffering, can have this burden lifted from them.
In terms of Eastern Congo yes our troops are on the ground. And it's not about us fighting the M-23. We are not there to fight M-23 or to fight
anybody. We are there to provide a corridor that allows the groups that are fighting the Congolese government, and they, the ones that are being fought
by the Congolese government, to have a sense of security feel that they can start, you know, we can -- they can start putting down their guns and
getting to the table and be able to negotiate.
It is important to note that M-23 has been in operation for over 30 years, it is not just a simple problem that just started yesterday. So we are
working together and the Nairobi processes are still going on -- process still going on. We have never before coming up.
And so we are fully engaged. And they have different meetings being called this coming month, to try and sort out the issue. In terms of the regional
force and extending that's in the process. And we are confident that will be -- Kenya is not planning to withdraw its troops until we find an
And we want to thank our partners, the United States and others for the promise support that we can be able to work together to ensure that that
region is stable. Maybe we can take agriculture first.
BLINKEN: Right, thank you Alfred. Let me just add that in terms of our engagement in Sudan. First, we've been deeply engaged directly with the
parties. I've spoken to General Burhan Mehdi, on multiple occasions. We strongly support African led efforts to help both mediate this to end the
end the hostilities, and as I said, get back on track to transition to civilian led government.
We participated in, I think, an important meeting by video conference that was convened by the Chairperson of the African Union, Mr. Faki, just at the
end of last week that included the Secretary General of the United Nations that included virtually all of the stakeholders in Africa and beyond, who
have an interest in trying to help Sudan that get back on track and we continue to support those efforts.
We all have the same goal. We're all driving to the same place that is a ceasefire that's genuinely durable. That turns into a full cessation of
hostilities between the competing forces. And that presumes the very important negotiations that were underway to create a transition to a
civilian led government.
Negotiations that had produced very significant progress, including the agreed framework so that is everyone's goal and we'll use both our direct
engagement as helpful and as appropriate, but also strongly in support of a -- led efforts to put this back on track.
With regard to the United States and Kenyan trade I think first it's worth pointing out that it's up 20 percent over the last year, that in and of
itself, speaks volumes and when it comes to agriculture, that's exactly one of the things that we focused on.
GIOKOS: U.S. Secretary of State's Antony Blinken there press conference with Alfred Mutua who is the Kenyan Foreign and Diaspora Affairs Cabinet
Secretary talking about Sudan and the way forward. The underlying message here is that they are currently in talks with both sides which is
The Kenyan saying that they are getting to speak to both generals but the question is how do you get a ceasefire to lead to a full cessation of
hostilities? And that is going to be the question. We still have Oren Liebermann with us. He's at the Pentagon so much happening today, actually.
Oren, I want you to take me through what the U.S.'s stances right now in dealing with Sudan, because on one hand, you have to think about the
evacuations on the other, its diplomatic talks. It's about getting in some way, both sides to sit and negotiate.
LIEBERMANN: Certainly, at least two different tracks here that the U.S. is working on. One you just heard there from Secretary of State Antony Blinken
is on the diplomatic track. Blinken himself has spoken to both the leader of the Sudanese armed forces as well as the rival RSF, the two warring
factions there that tried to bring about some sort of durable ceasefire. But right now, that isn't something that appears likely or imminent to
And that was something you also heard from the Kenyan foreign minister there. They're in touch with the parties. They're both urging the parties
in the same direction towards a ceasefire, but actually getting them there is a far more difficult proposition, at least as of right now. And then
there's the military track where the American military is using its assets.
That is drones overhead to monitor to conduct surveillance of some of the land routes, and perhaps even monitor some of the situation in Khartoum
itself and then moving some Navy ships into the Red Sea to Port Sudan for those American citizens and perhaps others who can make it to that point
and seek help from there.
The problem is, the U.S. got out its embassy staff, as well as embassy staff, family members and a few other nationals there. But left behind not
only dual nationals 16,000 plus, according to the U.S. estimates that we're hearing, but also other people who were there, for example, the American
School, which is a school for the embassy, even if it's not specifically embassy staff.
So, there are great challenges ahead here for how the U.S. deals with the American citizens who are still in Sudan who want to leave. The
administration says they're in touch with several 100. But as we heard at the top of the show, they're not in touch with everybody who wants out.
GIOKOS: Yes, Oren Liebermann, thank you so much. Well, it has been a very busy two hours of global politics as well as diplomacy. Right now, Russia's
top diplomats is in New York. Sergey Lavrov is chairing the U.N. Security Council meeting at this hour.
The Black Sea grain deal critical to the survival of millions of people is expected to be highlighted. Now after Moscow's threats to end the
agreement, it's worth noting Russia is presiding over a body where most members have slammed its war against Ukraine U.N. chief Antonio Guterres
spoke to the meeting a short time ago. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTONIO GUTERRES, UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY-GENERAL: Russia's invasion of Ukraine in violation of United Nations Charter international law is causing
massive suffering and devastation to the country and its people and adding to the global economic dislocation triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS: All right. CNN's Matthew Chance is at the U.N. and joins us now live. Matthew, the theme is multilateralism. But when you listen to Antonio
Gutierrez versus the lines coming through from Sergey Lavrov, two very different perspectives of where multilateralism is headed. And of course,
interesting that the Russians are focusing on the mistakes they say the U.S. is making right now and frankly, having a really long list of them.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, what we saw from Sergey Lavrov, earlier today was a long list of the complaints
and the grievances that the Russians often list when they talk about the sort of violations of international norms and international law that the
West with the United States at its head has conducted. And we saw that again, today, it talks about the bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 to four
slobbered on -- to stop ethnically cleansing.
Kosovo Albanians of course, back then, talked about the bombing of Libya, which was intended to oust President Gaddafi of the country and the Western
support, according to Sergey Lavrov, to various color revolutions in the former Soviet space, like Georgia, like Ukraine and he said, like in
Belarus, as well.
But of course, the big, you know, kind of exception to this was the fact that, you know, for all the allegations of the United States and the West,
violating the principles of multilateralism, and going its own way, there was no acceptance really on the part of Russia, that it is the one that has
launched this war against Ukraine and is still carrying on fighting right today.
But it was pointed out by the U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres, of course, saying, condemning Russia's military action in Ukraine. And that
condemnation was reflected by other delegates who spoke at the Security Council meeting over the course of the past hour or so.
GIOKOS: Matthew Chance, thank you so much for that update. Well, Paul Whelan's sister also at the U.N. today, I'm calling on Russia to release
her brother. Elizabeth Whelan spoke a short time ago. And she says Russia is using what she calls hostage diplomacy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELIZABETH WHELAN, PAUL WHELAN'S SISTER: Paul was a corporate security director. He had a job he loved a home, a life of hope and opportunity all
that has been taken away from him by Russia, a country that revels in its culture of lies, its tradition of hostage diplomacy.
Russia's less than sophisticated take on diplomacy is to arbitrarily detain American citizens in order to extract concessions from the United States.
This is not the work of a mature and responsible nation. It is the action of a terrorist state.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS: Meanwhile, the White House says it's talking with Russia about the two detained Americans, National Security Council Spokesman John Kirby told
CNN this morning, that there's a proposal that would free Paul Whelan and Evan Gershkovich, take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KIRBY: We haven't missed an opportunity to talk to Russian officials about both Paul and now Evan and trying to get both of these men out and back
with their families where they belong. I don't have any specific conversations with Mr. Lavrov to speak to today. And you're right; he's
here because they now have the presidency temporarily.
It's a figurehead position of the Security Council. But I can tell you, we haven't missed a beat and talking to Russian officials. And there's, in
fact, there's a proposal on the table it's been on the table to start to get Mr. Whelan out and the Russians haven't been willing to negotiate or
talk about that proposal. But that doesn't mean we're going to stop.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS: Right, well, Sudan gripped by fierce fighting civilians are trying to get out before violence and chaos consumes their country ahead. We'll
find out what options they have stay with CNN.
GIOKOS: Welcome back to "Connect the World". I'm Eleni Giokos; I'm in for Becky Anderson. These are your headlines this hour. U.N. chief Antonio
Guterres is expected to meet with Russia's top diplomat Sergey Lavrov in the coming hours. That's according to Russian state media.
A short time ago, Lavrov address the Security Council. He is chairing the meeting as Russia took over the presidency this month. While the g7 is
calling for the extension, full implementation and expansion of the Black Sea grain deal which was struck to allow ships to carry food from goods
from Ukraine. And is considered crucial to the easing the world's hunger crisis.
Russia says it will terminate the deal if g7 countries banned exports to Russia. Foreign governments are frantically working to get their diplomats
and citizens out of Sudan as fighting rages for a 10th day.
More than one thousand Diplomats have been evacuated over the past few days, including the staff of the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum. Now parts of the
Capitol have endured heavy bombardment with warring sides showing no signs of standing down. Sudanese citizens, of course, don't have the luxury of
their governments swooping in and getting them to safety.
Now, the civilians who aren't sheltering in their homes are trying to get out of the country. Those who can afford it are crowded, are going to
crowded buses headed north to Egypt. While hundreds of thousands of refugees who left South Sudan because of civil war are going back. U.N.
agencies say Chad is also seeing Sudanese refugees cross its border.
I want to go to CNN's David McKenzie for more contexts. He's live in Johannesburg for us. We have a map and we're seeing neighboring countries
around Sudan. A few options, but I guess the most viable right now from what we've been hearing Egypt, we've also heard from the U.N., that people
are crossing through into Chad, despite the fact that we've heard Chad closed its borders. What are some of the options here the extra troops for
people in Sudan?
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Eleni they face in Sudan, a horrible set of choices. And the options that people have
really depend on a few factors. Of course, the primary factor that people are worrying about is their own safety and the safety of their families.
There's been intense fighting over many days now.
And so, at times, the safest thing to do unless you have a SEAL team or British Marines there to help you out like some foreign nationals have is
to shelter in place. If people decide to take that step to try and leave the country or leave the area of, of contact where the two sides are
fighting, then they have another set of choices.
And it depends also on the financial means available to them or perhaps from those friends and families who can help sponsor people to get out of
the country. Of course, the route via land to Egypt is being used by some people already, according to a report and chatter that is happening amongst
Sudanese, the bus fares to get north on that very lengthy journey is difficult.
They can also possibly go to Port Sudan on the coast, and then hop over to Jeddah as some diplomats and others have done. Chad, as you mentioned, is a
long-used route out of the dark for a region of Sudan into Chad. They have closed the border technically, but it's a vast land border that people can
According to UNHCR officials, I've been speaking to over the last few days; some 10 to 20,000 people have managed to get across that border. Some of
them are just sleeping out in the open. There are already 40 or 400,000, excuse me, Sudanese refugees there from previous conflicts. Now those
countries you see in red, in this map, that doesn't necessarily mean people won't go to those countries.
And already there have been a smattering of Sudanese heading into South Sudan, it all depends on what the situation is like in Sudan, and how
desperate people are to get out. I think one other country worth mentioning here is Libya. While we have that in red, because it's a dangerous country,
that could become in fact a very key transit point of Sudanese leaving North Africa and into Europe.
And that is the fear of many humanitarian officials I've been speaking to if you see a wholesale collapse, because of a protracted Civil War, as
Sudan will potentially be a source of more migrants pushing through Libya and into Europe and also open itself up to migrants from those southern
bordering states. So, the key really here is to try and figure out the fighting as soon as possible.
And that is, you know, stating the obvious and getting to a protracted ceasefire is obviously more difficult. You had the U.N. Secretary General,
speaking just a short time ago, he assured Sudanese despite international staff being evacuated out of a country that the U.N. will continue to
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GUTERRES: Let me be clear, the United Nations is not leaving Sudan. Our commitment is to the Sudanese people in support of their wishes for a
peaceful and secure future. We stand with them at this terrible time. I've authorized the temporary location both inside and outside Sudan of some
United Nations personnel, and families.
I call on all council members to exert maximum leverage with the parties to end the violence, restore order and return to the best of the democratic
transition. We must all do everything within our power to pull Sudan back from the edge of the abyss.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCKENZIE: Now Eleni, of course, we're talking about people leaving the country. The reporting I've done over many years in countries on this
continent and elsewhere that have been wracked by conflict and civil strife.
Predominantly, people don't in fact, leave the country, they will leave the immediate area of insecurity and stay within the borders of the country
known as internally displaced people. That is one of the biggest worries because you've had the U.N.--
GIOKOS: All right, David, I'm sorry, we have to interrupt you. I'd like to take you now to the United Nations Security Council meeting. We've got
U.N., U.S. Ambassador, Greenfield speaking, let's listen in.
LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: --council member whose actions demonstrate a blatant disregard for the U.N. Charter.
At the United Nations, if you ask a difficult policy question, you get 193 different answers. That makes our work challenging. But it also, it is also
right, because after all, that is what the U.N. is all about. Member States can work through disagreements, find common ground, and see where we can
make progress together.
And there are some things we're not met to disagree about. There are some values and principles that are so fundamental, so critical to our purpose
that signing on to them is the price of admission to the U.N. These are the values laid out in the United Nations Charter, a charter we have all sworn
to uphold and to protect. And it is quite clear what those values are.
This little blue book is written in plain language. And it spells out our purposes and principles in its very first chapter. And I want to read it to
you. Article One, the purposes of the United Nations are to maintain international peace and security, to develop friendly relations among
nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self- determination of peoples to achieve international cooperation in solving international problems, and promoting and encouraging respect for human
rights and for fundamental freedoms.
And here in Article Two, it states clearly. All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the
territorial integrity or political independence of, of any state, territorial integrity, respect for human rights, international cooperation,
these are our values. These are the shared stated principles we all agree to uphold, all of us.
And it's our belief in them that binds us together. Those principles have been the basis for the U. N's greatest triumphs over the past eight
decades. Despite the international systems imperfections, our shared principles have helped us curtail nuclear proliferation, prevent mass
atrocities and forge peace through negotiation and mediation.
They have undergirded an international order that has helped us provide humanitarian aid to those in desperate need to lift over a billion people
out of poverty and to prevent another world war. And right now, as much as ever, the world needs an effective U.N. and effective multilateralism.
Challenges like the climate crisis, the global food security crisis, and the COVID-19 pandemic are exactly the kinds of borderless challenges we
need the U.N. to tackle. And yet right when the world needed the U.N. most, we were plunged into a crisis of confidence.
Our hypocritical convener today, Russia, invaded his neighbor, Ukraine and struck at the heart of the U.N. Charter and all the values we hold here.
This illegal unprovoked and unnecessary war runs directly counter to our most shared principles, that a war of aggression and territorial quest is
never ever acceptable.
And as we sit here that aggression continues, as we sit here, Russian forces continue to kill and injure civilians. As we sit here, Russian
forces are destroying Ukraine's critical infrastructure. As we sit here, we brace ourselves for the next Bucha, the next Mariupol, the Kherson, the
next war crime, the next unconscionable atrocity.
141 U.N. member states have made it abundantly clear. Russia's full-scale invasion was not about self-defense. Russia simply wants to redraw
international borders by force in violation of this very U.N. Charter. And that goes against everything this institution stands for. This does not
just concern Ukraine or Europe.
It concerns all of us, because today it's Ukraine. But tomorrow, it could be another country, another small nation that is invaded by its larger
neighbor. And what we want this council to do in response, sit on our hands. No. It is the very reason the U.N. Charter was written in the first
And unfortunately, Russia has shown us consistently over the past 14 months that this invasion is not an isolated incident. In the past 14 months,
Russia has weaponized global food supplies and obstructed the Black Sea grain initiative from achieving its full potential. Russia has breached its
obligations under the New START treaty and issued dangerous and provocative nuclear threats.
Russia has violated universal human rights and fundamental freedoms both outside and inside its own borders. It has violated international law that
includes the wrongful detention of American citizens, Paul Whelan, Trevor Reed, Brittney Griner, and now Evan Gershkovich.
Trevor and Brittney are now thankfully home safe and sound. But Russia has imprisoned Paul Whelan and now detaining Evan Gershkovich to use as
political bargaining chips, human pawns. Paul was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Evan is a journalist; he was just doing his job. Using
people as pawns is a strategy of weakness.
These are not the actions of a responsible country. And while Russia plays political games, real people suffer. And I want to direct your attention to
the gallery, where today we're joined by Paul's sister, Elizabeth. And I want Minister Lavrov to look into her eyes and see her suffering. I want
you to see what it's like to miss your brother for four years.
To know he's looked, to know he is locked up in a Russian penal colony simply because you want to use him for your own means. I'm calling on you
right now, to release Paul Whelan, Evan Gershkovich immediately to let Paul and Evan come home, and to cease this barbaric practice once and for all.
Colleagues, while Russia may be undermining the U.N. Charter, and this institution, the rest of us can and must do better. The U.N. needs reform.
You've heard that to support and maintain its fundamental principles, this body must evolve to meet the 21st century. As part of that evolution, the
Security Council needs to better reflect today's global realities.
We must find credible, sensible and politically viable paths to this end. And while we work to forge those paths, those of us on the Security Council
have a duty to do more, to do better. As you all know, in San Francisco last year, I announced six principles for responsible behavior for Security
Council, permanent members.
These were standards we set for ourselves that we welcome all to hold us to, that we encourage for other permanent members. Colleagues, the United
States believes in the United Nations and we believe in this charter.
And that belief gives us faith that it can be made better still, our response to Russia's flagrant violations cannot be to abandon this
institution's founding principles. Instead, we must recommit to the principles of sovereignty, of territorial integrity, of peace and security,
and use those principles as guideposts as we strengthen the United Nations and make it fit for the purposes of the 21st century.
We must reform this institution and support efforts such as the Secretary General's ambitious or common agenda initiative to modernize the
multilateral system. We must not shirk our responsibilities to address threats by the DPRK to international peace and security. We must forcefully
address the situation in Sudan as we heard the call from the Secretary General for peace and a cessation of hostilities.
We must use our platform to call out aggression and human rights violations wherever and whenever we see them. We must renew our commitment to achieve
the sustainable development goals, to heal the climate, to end poverty and hunger. That is the brighter future we hope to build.
So, we must rally behind this U.N. Charter, take on shared global challenges seriously, do everything in our power to be better neighbors,
and together create a more peaceful, more prosperous world for us all. Thank you.
GIOKOS: All right. We just heard from the U.S., U.N. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield. She was reminding Russia of the U.N. Charter, one of the
most important lines is all members shall refrain from the use of force against any other territorial integrity or political independence of any
state. It was an interesting line.
We've got Oren Liebermann, standing by for us at the Pentagon, listening to some of what she had to say very different to what we heard from Sergey
Lavrov. But I have to say, we still haven't heard about the grain deal, which I know should be on the agenda. And I suspect that that is going to
be one of the most important lines to come out of this U.N. Security Council meeting.
LIEBERMANN: Well, we'll see where that ends up in terms of the grain deal specifically. But writ large, Linda Thomas Greenfield, the U.S. Ambassador
to the United Nations calling out not only Russia in this case, but also pointing to the fact that in a world where Russia can simply violate the
U.N., the U.N. Charter and then end up chairing the U.N. Security Council, there's clearly a problem with the international system, and calling on
that system to be strengthened.
Some very powerful words here calling out Russia saying, Russia simply wants to redraw international borders, by force in violation of this very
U.N. Charter. So again, you see, you see her calling out Russia for its action for its invasion of Ukraine, but also the failure of the U.N. to be
able to stop something like this calling for to be strengthened.
She talked about what she put forward, essentially, almost a code of ethics, if you will, or guidelines for U.N. Security Council permanent
members, U.S. and Russia among them. So, you see, you see Linda Thomas Greenfield here, sort of saying this is how the international system should
But if you allow a country like Russia to invade Ukraine, the war going on now for more than a year, there's clearly a problem here that needs to be
addressed. Of course, that's a problem that you're never going to address when certainly when Russia chairs the U.N. Security Council.
GIOKOS: Oren Liebermann, thank you very much for that breakdown. We're going to go to a very short break. We'll be back right after this. Stay