Fighting worsens in Sudan despite US sanctions


KHARTOUM-Shelling rocked greater Khartoum on Saturday as fighting between Sudan’s warring generals intensified, despite US sanctions imposed after the collapse of a US- and Saudi-brokered truce. Witnesses reported “artillery fire” in eastern Khartoum and around the state television building in the capital’s sister city Omdurman, just across the Nile.

For nearly seven weeks, fighting between the regular army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) has gripped Khartoum and the western region of Darfur, despite repeated efforts to broker a humanitarian ceasefire. The army announced it had brought in reinforcements from other parts of Sudan to participate in “operations in the Khartoum area”. Sudan analyst Kholood Khair said the army was “expected to launch a massive offensive” to clear the paramilitaries from the city’s streets.

Washington slapped sanctions on the warring parties Thursday, holding them both responsible for provoking “appalling” bloodshed.

The US Treasury placed two major arms companies of the Sudanese Armed Forces, Defence Industries System and Sudan Master Technology, on its blacklist. It also placed sanctions on gold mining firm Al Junaid Multi Activities Co and arms trader Tradive General Trading, two companies controlled by RSF commander Mohamed Hamdan Daglo and his family. The State Department meanwhile imposed visa restrictions on both army and RSF officials, saying they were complicit in “undermining Sudan’s democratic transition”. It did not name them.

Washington announced on Friday that Secretary of State Antony Blinken will next week travel to Saudi Arabia where he will discuss “strategic cooperation on regional and global issues”.

His trip follows efforts by both countries to broker a durable ceasefire in Sudan.