The US Treasury Department has announced sanctions against three companies involved in the Sudan war, targeting the war efforts of both sides, the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), with the sanctions.
The sanctioned companies are the Al-Khaleej Bank, the Al-Fakher Advanced Works, and the Zadna International Company for Investment Limited.
Al-Khaleej and Al-Fakhner are both controlled by the RSF. The Treasury Department stated that Al-Khaleej is “an essential part of the RSF’s efforts to finance its operations”, adding that they had received 50 million from the Central Bank of Sudan prior to the wars beginning in April of 2023, providing the RSF a significant funding pool.
Al-Fakher, however, manages the gold exports for the RSF. Over 80% of all of Sudan’s gold exports are smuggled out of the country, and since the wars beginning, gold smuggling has proven to be one of the primary sources of income for the RSF, fuelling their ability to purchase weapons, which of course allows them to continue the war.
Zadna International is a SAF controlled company. The Treasury Department referred to Zadna as a “top revenue-earner” for the SAF, stating they were funding the SAF’s war effort and being used for money laundering.
The US has accused both the SAF and the RSF of war crimes, in particular accusing the RSF of ethnic cleansing in Darfur.
The US’ sanctions come two weeks after similar sanctions put in place by the EU, which targeted six different companies involved in the war, three on both sides. Both the EU and the US targeted Zadna International.
The EU’s sanctions also targeted Defense Industries System and SMT Engineering, two military government aligned companies who manufacture both weapons and vehicles for the SAF.
Al Junaid Multi Activities Co Ltd, Tradive General Trading and GSK Advance Company Ltd were all sanctioned by the EU for procuring weapons for the RSF.
These sanctions are not the first the US has put in place regarding the war in Sudan. In June, the US launched sanctions upon four companies, two controlled by the RSF and two by the SAF. Similarly in September they brought sanctions against two prominent RSF leaders, including Abdelrahim Dagalo, the brother of RSF leader Mohamed ‘Hemedti’ Hamdan Dagalo.
Peace and War
The sanctions come as it came to light that the SAF and RSF had reportedly met for high level talks in Bahrain for the very first time since the wars beginning. The US was present at the talks, along with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the UAE.
The talks have thus far been unsuccessful at establishing any sort of ceasefire, or even measures to allow further humanitarian aid. Pressure is growing for both, however, particularly as the UN announced on January 31st that nearly 8 million people have now been displaced by the war.
The UN has continually warned of an impending famine in Sudan, as its agencies in the country, and surrounding countries, remain enormously underfunded. Humanitarian efforts are made worse due to significant portions of the country, particularly in and around the capital of Khartoum, are largely inaccessible due to the heavy fighting throughout the country.