Posted at 04:50 PM ET, 01/18/2012

Sudan facing possible famine, warns U.S. envoy

Half a million people in Sudan could face a famine by March if international humanitarian organizations are not allowed to enter the country, U.S. envoy to Sudan Princeton Lyman warned Wednesday.

A malnourished Sudanese child sits on a woman’s lap at a nutrition and feeding center in Sudan. (Hannah McNeish - AFP/Getty Images)
CNN reports that Lyman urged Sudan to allow groups like the United Nations World Food Programme and UNICEF to enter border areas of the country. The government in Khartoum, however, argues that these areas are too dangerous. More than 20,000 people have fled the violence in Sudan’s South Kordofan state. The conflict broke out in June over South Sudan’s independence.

“There is a looming humanitarian disaster in Sudan,” Lyman said in Pretoria Wednesday, in a speech designed to drum up support for African intervention in Sudan. “Africa needs to speak with one voice. Africa needs to say, ‘We cannot allow this to happen.’”

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