White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said the United States has imposed economic sanctions and visa restrictions on Sudanese actors who perpetuate violence, amid fears of protracted conflict and widespread suffering in the country with the failure of a ceasefire between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces.
Sullivan said – in a statement issued today, Thursday – that the sanctions aim to hold accountable those responsible for undermining peace, security and stability in Sudan.
Sullivan held the warring parties responsible for the unjustified violence and for defying the will of the Sudanese people.
For his part, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that Washington imposed sanctions on Sudan Master Technology for its role in supporting companies producing weapons and vehicles for the Sudanese army, and imposed sanctions on the state-run Military Industrialization Authority that produces equipment and weapons for the army.
Blinken added that his country also imposed sanctions on Tradef General Trading Company (based in the UAE), which the Rapid Support Forces use to purchase equipment for its forces, in addition to the Al-Junaid Gold Mining Company, which is also affiliated with the Support Forces.
Blinken confirmed the imposition of visa restrictions on personalities that include officials from the Sudanese army, Rapid Support Forces and leaders from the Omar al-Bashir regime.
The US Secretary said that the sanctions come in response to the violations of the Sudanese army and Rapid Support commitments they made in the city of Jeddah, adding that they are “ready to take additional measures and we will continue to work with the parties for humanitarian assistance and silencing the guns.”
Blinken had said during a press conference held in Oslo, “We are looking at steps that can be taken to clarify our views of any of the leaders who are leading Sudan in the wrong direction by perpetuating violence and violating the ceasefire that they have already confirmed that they will abide by.”
Blinken described the ceasefire in Sudan as fragile, and said that the two parties are violating it, and that what is happening is not in the interest of the Sudanese.
The United States of America has expressed its regret over the Sudanese army’s decision to suspend its participation in the Jeddah negotiations.
The Strategic Communications Coordinator at the National Security Council, John Kirby, called on the Sudanese armed forces to seriously seize the peace opportunity for a cease-fire.
On the other hand, the Al-Jazeera correspondent reported a widespread power outage in the capital, Khartoum, and other states in the country.
He also reported that strong explosions occurred and the sound of heavy weapons was heard in Al-Ghaba Street and the industrial area in Khartoum, indicating that fighter jets flew over Khartoum North and Omdurman.
The extended mechanism is worried
In a political context, the Expanded Mechanism for Conflict Resolution in Sudan expressed concern about the continuing fighting in Sudan.
In a statement today, Thursday, the mechanism stressed the lack of a military solution to the conflict, the importance of a coordinated approach to resolving the crisis, and the need for a process led by the Sudanese with an African leadership.
The mechanism warned against the multiplication of uncoordinated initiatives that would undermine the collective effort and the sovereignty of Sudan.
The Expanded Mechanism welcomed the Jeddah Process sponsored by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States of America, which resulted in a declaration of commitment to a short-term ceasefire, in addition to humanitarian arrangements.
Last Monday evening, Saudi Arabia and the United States announced the agreement of the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces to extend the ceasefire agreement signed between them for an additional 5 days.
The announcement came in conjunction with the expiry of a declared agreement between the army and the Rapid Support Forces for a short-term ceasefire for a period of 7 days and humanitarian arrangements sponsored by Saudi Arabia and the United States.
The Jeddah talks began in early May and led to a declaration of commitment to protect civilians and two brief cease-fires that have been repeatedly violated.
As part of the external efforts to resolve the Sudanese crisis, the Director of the Office of the African Union, Mohamed El-Hassan Ould Labat, told Al-Jazeera that the meeting of the expanded mechanism held in Addis Ababa yesterday, Wednesday, agreed on a new road map to solve the Sudanese crisis.
Ould Labat added that the expanded mechanism emphasizes preventing external interference in Sudanese affairs, facilitating the immediate delivery of humanitarian aid to the Sudanese through air, land and sea corridors, as well as coordinating international procedures and preventing any initiatives that reduce joint action.
The expanded African mechanism includes the resumption of the political process to complete the political transition that was interrupted by the conflict.
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