Biden Clears Path for New Sanctions Amid Violence in Sudan

Samantha Flom
By Samantha Flom
May 5, 2023Africa
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Biden Clears Path for New Sanctions Amid Violence in Sudan
A destroyed vehicle of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitaries in southern Khartoum on April 19, 2023. (AFP via Getty Images)

President Joe Biden signed an executive order on May 4 that opened the door to new Sudan-related sanctions amid the ongoing power struggle between rival military generals in the African nation.

The order authorizes future sanctions against individuals who threaten the “peace, security, or stability” of Sudan, impede the country’s democratic transition, or commit acts of violence against civilians or other human rights abuses.

The move follows weeks of fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, which teamed up in 2021 to orchestrate a coup, resulting in the upheaval of the country’s transition toward democracy.

“The Sudanese people suffered thirty years under an authoritarian regime—but they never gave up on their commitment to democracy or their hope for a better future,” Biden said in a May 4 statement.

“Their dedication brought down a dictator, only to endure a military takeover in October 2021, and now more violence among factions fighting for control.”

Describing the violence as a “betrayal” of the Sudanese people’s desire for democracy, he called for a “durable ceasefire” between the opposing factions, adding that the United States would continue to provide humanitarian relief where conditions allow.

NTD Photo
A man walks while smoke rises above buildings after aerial bombardment, during clashes between the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces and the army in Khartoum North, Sudan, on May 1, 2023. (Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Reuters)

But the fighting, which broke out on April 15, isn’t likely to end any time soon, according to Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines.

“The fighting in Sudan between the Sudanese armed forces and the Rapid Support Forces is, we assess, likely to be protracted as both sides believe they can win militarily and have few incentives to come to the negotiating table,” Haines testified on May 4 before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Both sides of the conflict, she noted, are seeking outside support, which, if granted, could make matters worse.

Evacuations

Last weekend, the United States launched its first mass evacuation of citizens from Sudan since the conflict began.

On April 29, a government-organized convoy arrived at Port Sudan to assist in transporting U.S. citizens to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The evacuation began days after a second American was confirmed to have died amid the chaos in Sudan.

“The U.S. government has taken extensive efforts to contact U.S. citizens in Sudan and enable the departure of those who wished to leave,” the State Department said in a statement.

“We messaged every U.S. citizen in Sudan who communicated with us during the crisis and provided specific instructions about joining this convoy to those who were interested in departing via the land route.

“We encourage U.S. citizens who want to leave Sudan but chose not to participate in this convoy to contact the Department of State using the crisis intake form on our website.”

Reuters contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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