The US government has authorized the imposition of sanctions on Sudan’s warring chiefs, declaring that the violence since April 15 constitutes an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States”.
President Joe Biden reinstated previously lifted sanctions on Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism and a perpetrator of humanitarian atrocities on Thursday by issuing an executive order freezing any assets the country may have on US soil and ordering the Treasury Secretary to identify war criminals and peace breakers who should face sanctions.
The order further stipulated that “any foreign person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to be responsible for, or complicit in, or to have directly or indirectly engaged or attempted to engage in,” aiding insurgents, looting, or harming civilians would have their assets frozen, be prohibited from doing business with US entities, and be prohibited from entering the US.
The sanctions are the first US response to the warring factions in Sudan, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF), which were once allies and assisted in the overthrow of former leader Omar al-Bashir but have since refused to hand over power to a civilian-led government.
Over 300,000 people have been displaced since April 15 and at least 800 people have died, including 100,000 who have already entered neighboring countries.
After being exonerated as a state sponsor of terrorism just two years ago, the sanctions may push Sudan back into the shadows.
In the order, Biden stated that “any transaction that evades or avoids, has the intention of evading or avoiding, causes a violation of, or attempts to violate, any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.”
He asserted that the sanctions would put an end to human rights violations, resource exploitation, and actions or policies that put Sudan’s peace, security, or stability at risk.