US targets ex-Sudan officials with sanctions for undermining peace By Reuters

US targets ex-Sudan officials with sanctions for undermining peace By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A bronze seal for the Department of the Treasury is shown at the U.S. Treasury building in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2023.  REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The United States imposed sanctions on Monday on three former Sudanese officials for their role in undermining peace, security and stability in Sudan, the Treasury Department said.

The sanctions are being imposed under a U.S. executive order that places penalties on people who destabilize Sudan and undermine democracy, the department said in a statement.

It named the three as Taha Osman Ahmed al-Hussein, Salah Abdallah Mohamed Salah and Mohamed Etta Elmoula Abbas, all former Sudanese officials.

“These individuals have engaged in activities that undermine the peace, security, and stability of Sudan,” it said.

“Elmoula and Gosh are former security officials who worked to return former regime elements to power and undermine efforts to establish civilian government, while Taha worked to facilitate the delivery of military and other materiel support from external sources to the Rapid Support Forces (RSF),” it said.

A war erupted on April 15 between the Sudanese army and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces after weeks of friction between the two sides over a plan to integrate forces as part of a transition from military rule to civilian democracy.

The U.S. statement said Washington was committed to promoting accountability for those responsible for atrocities in the Sudanese conflict.

“The warring parties must comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law, and we call on them to protect civilians, hold accountable those responsible for atrocities or other abuses, allow unhindered humanitarian access, and negotiate an end to the conflict,” it said.

The U.S. announcement follows a vote by the U.N. Security Council on Friday to shut down a U.N. political mission in Sudan on Dec. 3 after a request from Sudan’s acting foreign minister.

A British-drafted resolution terminated the mandate of the mission, known as UNITAMS, and requires it to wind down over the next three months. UNITAMS was established by the 15-member council in June 2020 to provide support to Sudan during its political transition to democratic rule.

A senior United Nations official said last month that violence against civilians in Sudan was “verging on pure evil,” as a humanitarian crisis worsens and ethnic violence increasesin the western region of Darfur.

Last week U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appointed veteran Algerian diplomat Ramtane Lamamra as his personal envoy for Sudan. The Security Council resolution encourages all parties to cooperate with the envoy.

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