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UK sanctions businesses funding war in Sudan

July 12, 2023 at 2:15 pm

British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly on July 04, 2023 [Raşid Necati Aslım/Anadolu Agency]

The UK government announced, on Tuesday, that it has imposed new sanctions on businesses that are fuelling the “devastating conflict in Sudan” by providing funding and arms to the warring militias, Anadolu Agency reports.

“These sanctions will ensure that any assets held in the UK by these conglomerates and companies will be frozen,” the Foreign Office said.

These strict measures on companies controlled by the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) are sought to limit financial freedom by preventing UK citizens, companies and banks from dealing with them and “put pressure on the parties” to engage in the peace process.

Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly, said: “These sanctions are directly targeting those whose actions have destroyed the lives of millions. Both sides have committed multiple cease-fire violations in a war, which is completely unjustified.”

Almost three months of violence in Sudan has reportedly resulted in 25 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, over 2.2 million internally displaced and 682,000 people estimated to have fled to neighbouring countries.

“The war has been exacerbated and prolonged by the vast financial empires supporting the SAF and RSF. The multi-billion-dollar conglomerates and companies associated with both parties have provided them with a steady source of funds and weapons, enabling the continuation of fighting which has seen atrocities committed against civilians,” the statement read.

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The UK has designated six commercial entities in total, with each of the two warring parties having three associated businesses targeted.

“These sanctions will send a strong message to those providing funding and supplies to the SAF and RSF that the ongoing conflict is unacceptable and the violence must stop.”

Minister for Development and Africa, Andrew Mitchell, said both sides have dragged Sudan into a “wholly unjustified war, with utter disregard for the Sudanese people, and must be held accountable.”

Mitchell said the sanctions are designed to pressure the parties to engage in a meaningful and lasting peace process.