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US Aims Sanctions at Anti-democracy Actors in Sudan

The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions on an ousted Sudanese politician and two companies, one of which is based in Russia, accusing them of intensifying instability and opposing democracy in the North African country. These are the latest attempts by Washington to hold Islamist militants accountable for the war that broke out last April after Sudan’s army tried unsuccessfully to disband the Rapid Support Forces, or RSF, in a democratic transition of power. RSF is a paramilitary organization beholden to Omar al-Bashir, the long-reigning despot who was brought down in a popular revolt four years ago.

In Thursday’s announcement, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken singled out Ali Karti, a one-time foreign minister who after al-Bashir fell from power rose in the ranks to Secretary General of the Sudanese Islamic Movement, an extremist outfit battling against the nation’s new democracy. Karti is a key player among those who were in Bashir’s inner party. After a military coup in 2021 involving RSF, Karti’s Islamist party has reestablished some of its power.

Blinken also aimed sanctions at the Sudan-based GSK Advance Company and Aviatrade, a Russian weapons supplier. U.S. intelligence says Aviatrade has helped GSK provide military drones and training to RSF. “We will continue to target actors perpetuating this conflict for personal gain,” Brian Nelson, the Treasury Department’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement.

Source: VOA