Unrelenting Crisis in Sudan: United States Imposes Sanctions in an attempt to Restore Peace

Unrelenting Crisis in Sudan: United States Imposes Sanctions in an attempt to Restore Peace
Photo by Debby Hudson via Unsplash


Talita Dielemans

Middle East and Human Rights Researcher 

Global Human Rights Defence

Since its eruption on April 15th, 2023, the conflict in Sudan has persisted, resulting in a dire humanitarian crisis. With a staggering death toll of nearly 1800 people and about 1.6 million individuals displaced either within Sudan or beyond its borders, the country has been engulfed in turmoil. [1] Following this sequence of events, the United States has implemented sanctions, warning that it will ensure accountability for any individuals or groups who undermine peace in Sudan, including the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), Rapid Support Forces (RSF), and affiliated entities. [2] The sanctions are being imposed as a result of the failure of both parties to uphold a humanitarian ceasefire, which aimed to provide crucial aid to the civilians in Khartoum and enable the restoration of infrastructure services. [3] 

As a consequence of continuous breaches of commitments made by the Sudanese Armed Forces and the RSF paramilitary group, the US is imposing economic and visa sanctions. Through economic sanctions, the US is cutting off key financial flows to both the RSF and SAF, ultimately depriving them of resources to perpetuate the violence, and visa sanctions are imposed on any actor who is responsible for or involved in fueling the war between rival military forces in Sudan. [4] However, it is unclear to what extent these sanctions will be sufficient to contribute to the end of violence and bloodshed in Sudan and there are concerns that this could further destabilise the whole Sahel region and generate further violence.

Furthermore, in addition to the aforementioned actions, the United States is implementing sanctions on four companies believed to be profiting from the Sudanese conflict, as stated by the U.S. officials. These companies include Al Junaid Multi Activities and Tradive General Trading, which are associated with the Rapid Support Forces, as well as Defense Industries System and Sudan Master Technology, which have connections to the Sudanese armed forces. [5] By imposing these sanctions, the United States is disrupting vital financial streams that support both the SAF and RSF, thereby denying them the necessary resources to pay their soldiers, procure weapons and supplies, and sustain their military operations in Sudan. [6]

Sources and further readings:

[1] Al Jazeera ‘What’s the latest in Sudan? Suspended talks, sanctions, fighting’ (2 June 2023) <https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/6/2/whats-the-latest-in-sudan-suspended-talks-sanctions-fighting> accessed 5 June 2023.

[2] U.S. Department of State ‘U.S. Measures in Response to the Crisis in Sudan’ (1 June 2023) <https://www.state.gov/u-s-measures-in-response-to-the-crisis-in-sudan/> accessed 4 June 2023.

[3] Sudan Tribune ‘US imposes sanctions on military companies supporting conflict in Sudan’ (1 June 2023) <https://sudantribune.com/article274255/> accessed 6 June 2023.

[4] The Washington Post ‘U.S. imposes sanctions on Sudan as violence breaks cease-fire agreements’ (1 June 2023) <https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/06/01/united-states-sudan-sanctions/> accessed 5 June 2023.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.