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US sanctions Sudan paramilitary leader for rights abuses

September 6, 2023 at 6:28 pm

Sudanese deputy chief of the ruling miliary council Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo delivers a speech after inking an agreement with protest leaders in Khartoum early on 17 July 2019 [EBRAHIM HAMID/AFP via Getty Images]

The US sanctioned a high-ranking leader and regional commander within Sudan’s Rapid Security Forces (RSF) Paramilitary, Wednesday, amid an ongoing conflict with government forces that has exacerbated that country’s humanitarian crisis, Anadolu Agency reports.

Abdelrahim Hamdan Dagalo, the senior RSF official, is being sanctioned for the RSF’s “acts of violence and human rights abuses, including the massacre of civilians, ethnic killings and use of sexual violence,” the Treasury Department said in a statement.

It said the RSF has been “credibly accused” of carrying out “extensive human rights abuses”, including in the Darfur region.

“Today’s action demonstrates Treasury’s commitment to hold accountable those responsible for serious and extensive human rights abuses in Sudan,” said Brian Nelson, the Agency’s senior official for financial intelligence. “The United States urges both sides of the conflict to cease the hostilities and violence perpetuating Sudan’s dire humanitarian crisis.”

READ: Sudan: RSF leader calls on army officers and soldiers to join him

Abdelrahim is the brother of RSF Commander, Lieutenant-General, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo.

The State Department separately announced visa restrictions on RSF General and West Darfur Sector Commander, Abdul Rahman Juma for his “involvement in a gross violation of human rights”, including the alleged 15 June kidnapping of West Darfur Governor, Khamis Abbakar, and his brother.

Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, urged all external actors to avoid fuelling the conflict, and said the US “will not hesitate to use the tools at our disposal to hinder the ability of the RSF and Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) to further prolong this war.” 

“We will act to promote accountability for those responsible for atrocities and to pursue justice for the victims,” ​​he said in a statement.

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

Since the beginning of the war between the RSF and the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) on 15 April, thousands have been killed and more than 4 million displaced, especially in Khartoum and Darfur State.

 IOM: over 7m internally displaced in Sudan