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US Sanctions Sudanese Leaders Over Halted Cease-Fire


FILE - President Joe Biden, centre, sits with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan during a bilateral meeting with Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Hiroshima, Japan, Thursday, May 18, 2023,

Update: The White House on Thursday announced economic and visa sanctions against Sudanese leaders responsible for breaking a cease-fire and provoking "appalling" bloodshed.

"We are following through by levying economic sanctions, imposing visa restrictions against actors who are perpetuating the violence," National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in a statement.

"Despite a cease-fire agreement, senseless violence has continued across the country — hindering the delivery of humanitarian assistance, and hurting those who need it most. The scope and scale of the bloodshed in Khartoum and Darfur, in particular, is appalling," Sullivan said.

Failure by the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces "to abide by the cease-fire only further deepens our concern that the people of Sudan will once again face a protracted conflict and widespread suffering at the hands of the security forces."

Sullivan noted that the sanctions are being enacted under the authority ordered by President Joe Biden in May.

Four companies associated with the Rapid Support Forces and the Sudanese Army Forces were sanctioned by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), according to a press statement by the U.S. agency.

“Through sanctions, we are cutting off key financial flows to both the Rapid Support Forces and the Sudanese Armed Forces, depriving them of resources needed to pay soldiers, rearm, resupply, and wage war in Sudan,” Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen said in a statement.

“The United States stands on the side of civilians against those who perpetuate violence towards the people of Sudan,” Yellen added.

According to the U.S. Treasury’s statement, the sanctioned entities include Khartoum-based Al Junaid Multi Activities Co Ltd, a Sudanese holding company controlled by RSF Commander Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo and his brother, RSF Deputy Commander Abdul Rahim Dagalo; UAE-based Tradive General Trading L.L.C., a front company controlled by RSF Major Algoney Hamdan Dagalo; Defense Industries System, a Sudan’s largest defense enterprise, manufacturing a range of small arms, conventional weapons, ammunition and military vehicles for the SAF; and Sudan Master Technology (SMT), an arms company and a shareholder in multiple Defense Industries System companies and a major shareholder in three companies involved producing weapons and vehicles for the SAF.

Blinken, who was in Oslo for NATO talks, said the United States would remain engaged and stopped short of blaming one side for violating the truce, after the army announced its withdrawal on Wednesday.

A number of U.S. lawmakers and activists have criticized President Joe Biden's administration for not taking earlier action, including sanctions, against army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and paramilitary commander Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo.

U.S. diplomats have argued that it was more useful to preserve relationships to negotiate between them.

Some information for this report came from Agence France-Presse.