The Biden administration Thursday announced sanctions targeting both sides of Sudan's recently erupted conflict, affecting their ability to make war. File Photo by Sudanese Armed Forces/UPI | License Photo
June 2 (UPI) -- Sudan's warring sides have been hit with U.S. punitive measures, as the Biden administration attempts to hold those accountable for threatening peace and stability in the Northeast African nation.
The measures were imposed against the Sudanese Armed Forces and its breakaway Rapid Support Forces on Thursday after White House national security advisor Jake Sullivan warned economic sanctions, visa restrictions and an updated business advisory for Sudan were coming.
"The Sudanese people deserve better," a senior administration official told reporters Thursday via teleconference.
"Today, the Untied States has taken a series of actions to hold the parties accountable and to deny them the resources, funds and weapons that have enabled them to perpetuate this horrific conflict."
Visa restrictions were imposed against specific though unnamed individuals from both sides of the conflict as well as from the former al-Bashir regime for their role in undermining Sudan's democratic transition, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.
Al Junaid, a RSF-linked gold mining company in Darfur, was designated for generating funds for the paramilitary force, as well as Tradive General Trading, which procures it weaponry and equipment.
The Treasury also hit Sudan Master Technology, a major shareholder in three companies involved in producing weapons and vehicles for the Sudanese Armed Forces, and state-operated Defense Industries System.
"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," Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement.
The business advisory, which was first issued in May, has now been updated to highlight risks of trading in gold from conflict areas and doing business with SAF- and RSF-owned companies.
The Northeast African nation has for years teetered on the precipice of war and stability since the military ousted the country's former three-decade dictator government of President Omar al-Bashir in a civilian-backed coup in 2019.
As the country crawled toward a democracy, Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, head of the Sudanese Armed Forces, and his deputy, Rapid Support Forces head Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, executed another coup but infighting over control of the government has turned into bloodshed on April 15, with civilians paying a heavy price.
The fighting has continued despite the two sides having agreed to a U.S.- and Saudi-brokered cease-fire.
The senior Biden administration official added that the recently erupted fighting ended a year of negotiations to resume civilian rule in the country.
"We need to hold people accountable for the violence and the destruction of Sudan," the official said.
"The two parties have not abided by the various cease-fires that they have signed. They have not adhered to the principles of international and humanitarian law.
"And so, by focusing on the way in which they conduct this war, how they access funds, how they access weapons, it is our goal to change their calculus and to create a scenario in which the guns will finally be silenced and we can get on with the important task of meeting the aspirations of the Sudanese people for a democratic transition."
The war has resulted in hundreds dead. According to United Nations statistics, more than 1.2 million people in the country have also been internally displaced by the war, a number greater than that recorded during the previous four years.