- By Suliman Baldo, originally published on International Centre for Dialogue Initiatives
- July 18, 2023
The war that erupted on April 15 between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) is devastating Sudan and its people, killing thousands, displacing an estimated 2.8 million and exposing 25 million Sudanese to hunger. What both belligerents thought would be a lightning campaign has turned into drawn-out urban warfare that has already obliterated much of the country’s industrial, commercial, and infrastructural bases, concentrated in the capital, Khartoum. The war has rapidly spread out to half of Sudan’s eighteen federal states in the Darfur, Kordofan, and Blue Nile regions, where it has taken on an alarming ethnic turn as the SAF calls for civilian volunteer fighters from north-central Sudan to join its ranks, and the RSF sets in motion a massive mobilization of tribes in Darfur from which its fighters hail. The UN Secretary-General’s warning that Sudan is on the verge of a civil war must be heeded.
To send a signal that continued fighting would have consequences for the belligerents, President Biden issued an Executive Order on May 4, authorizing his Administration to “hold individuals responsible for threatening the peace, security, and stability of Sudan; undermining Sudan’s democratic transition; using violence against civilians; or committing serious human rights abuses.” This is in line with the United States Government’s goals when imposing sanctions, which is to exert economic pressure and thus encourage a change in behavior from the targeted company or country. For decades the US has used sanctions to address issues such as human rights abuses, grand corruption, money laundering, terrorism financing, and disruption to democratization processes that the US government seeks to deter or penalize.
Read the full piece on ICDI’s website.