US imposes sanctions on Sudan’s paramilitary forces over rights abuses

The sanctions come as the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces continued to fight for control of the country.

The United States has slapped sanctions on top officials of Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces for a range of alleged murders and rights abuses, including the killing of the governor of West Darfur.

At the same time, the State Department announced on Wednesday $163 million in new humanitarian assistance to help victims and refugees of Sudan’s nearly five-month-old civil war.

The US Treasury sanctioned RSF senior commander Abdelrahim Hamdan Daglo and the brother of Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, leader of the paramilitary RSF.

Under Abdelrahim Daglo, the Treasury said, RSF members “have engaged in acts of violence and human rights abuses, including the massacre of civilians, ethnic killings, and use of sexual violence.”

It said that many of the abuses took place in the Darfur region of Sudan.

The US State Department, meanwhile, also placed RSF general and West Darfur sector commander Abdul Rahman Juma on its blacklist for what it called “his involvement in a gross violation of human rights.”

“According to credible sources, on June 15, 2023, RSF forces led by General Juma kidnapped and killed the governor of West Darfur, Khamis Abbakar, and his brother,” the State Department said.

The RSF has denied the accusations by conflict monitors, rights groups and witnesses that it is behind the violence, while saying any of its soldiers found to be involved would be brought to justice.

Hundreds flee Khartoum district

Meanwhile, hundreds of families fled on Wednesday from a Khartoum suburb where Sudanese army shelling killed 19 civilians the previous evening, activists and residents said.

The exodus adds to the almost 2.8 million already displaced from the Sudanese capital – whose pre-war population was around five million – since fighting began on April 15 between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and paramilitary RSF.

“Hundreds of families are fleeing Ombada,” a district of Omdurman, Khartoum’s sister city across the Nile, a resident of the area said. The person asked for anonymity because of security reasons.

Another resident, also declining to be identified, said “combat has intensified since Tuesday” and included air strikes on Wednesday.

The SAF control the skies over Khartoum and has carried out regular air strikes while RSF fighters dominate the city’s streets.

On Tuesday evening the Ombada resistance committee said the army had “bombarded the paramilitaries with artillery and drones”.

“These rounds missed their targets and 19 civilians were killed,” the committee added in a statement on Facebook.

Such committees once organised pro-democracy rallies but now provide a range of community assistance and relief during the war.

Source: TRTWorld