US sanctions Sudan warring factions and suspends negotiated ceasefire News
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US sanctions Sudan warring factions and suspends negotiated ceasefire

The White House announced sanctions against Sudanese companies Thursday in an attempt to “hold the [fighting] parties accountable and to deny them the resources, funds, and weapons that have enabled them to perpetuate this horrific conflict.” The US announced the sanctions shortly before suspending the ceasefire extension the US and Saudi Arabia had negotiated between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

Commenting on the sanctions, a senior Biden administration official said, “It’s important, in our view, to hold people accountable and to recognize that until the calculus on both parties change, they will continue to fight each other and destroy this country.”

Thursday’s sanctions target four Sudanese companies—two SAF affiliated and two RSF affiliated. The two SAF-affiliated companies are the Defense Industries System, which manufactures weapons materials, and Sudan Master Technology, which produces arms. The two RSF-affiliated companies include Al Junaid Multi Activities, which operates a number of profitable subsidiaries, and Tradive General Trading, which produces vehicles.

Though the primary target of the sanctions is the four listed companies, the sanctions also included provisions targeting Sudanese individuals. Officials from within SAF and RSF are included among these individual sanctions. The US also sanctioned leaders of the former Omar al-Bashir regime, who the US claims is “responsible for or complicit in undermining Sudan’s democratic transition.”

Thursday also saw the suspension of a negotiated ceasefire between SAF and RSF. The US and Saudi Arabia—who initially negotiated a five-day extension of the ceasefire on May 29—cited “repeated serious violations” of the terms of the ceasefire. Specifically, a joint statement from the US and Saudi Arabia cited violations of ceasefire terms related to the delivery of humanitarian assistance and the restoration of essential services.

Regarding the humanitarian situation, the UN Refugee Agency announced Thursday that they are “increasingly concerned about the safety and wellbeing of refugees who have been caught up in the conflict in Sudan.” The agency raised alarm over reports of human rights abuses against refugees, including reports of thefts, threats, and physical and sexual violence. While they are providing aid where they can, the agency said that their ability to assist has been “seriously hampered” in areas where the heaviest fighting is taking place.

The fighting first began on April 15. Since then, fighting has displaced over 800,000 people within Sudan, and an additional 220,000 plus have fled the country. The international community continues to raise alarm about the humanitarian situation on the ground in Sudan and neighboring countries.