In a joint statement released today, the United States and Saudi Arabia have announced a suspension of peace negotiations in Jeddah between the Sudanese military and the Rapid Support Forces.
The communique sharply criticized both factions involved in the Sudanese conflict, accusing them of failing to honor the ceasefire and of hindering relief and reconciliation efforts.
However, the statement indicated that communication would continue between the sponsoring countries, the United States and Saudi Arabia, and the parties involved in the dispute. This is aimed at fostering trust and resuming negotiations.
It’s important to note that the US has imposed diplomatic and economic sanctions on the conflicting parties in Sudan on Thursday, renewing its support for the Sudanese people and its commitment to ending the conflict and establishing a civilian government.
This latest development emphasizes the vital role of international diplomacy and cooperation in addressing global conflicts, specifically in the Sudanese context where political stability and peace are of paramount importance. The United States and Saudi Arabia’s continued efforts and commitment to Sudan’s peace process reinforce their position as key players in global diplomacy.
Washington has enforced sanctions on companies accused of escalating the conflict in Sudan, thereby increasing pressure on the military and the semi-military Rapid Support Forces (RSF) to halt battles in Khartoum and other regions. The U.S. Treasury Department stated it targeted two military-associated companies, including the largest defense establishment in the country, and two firms linked to the semi-military Rapid Support Forces, one of which is implicated in gold mining.
A senior official in the American administration, speaking on condition of anonymity, stated, “We will not hesitate to take additional steps if both sides continue to destroy their country.” The official added that the measures aim to tighten the noose on the parties to prevent access to weapons and resources that enable them to continue the conflict. The Sudanese military and the Rapid Support Forces have yet to respond to requests for comment.
The conflict, which erupted on April 15th, has resulted in hundreds of deaths and has driven more than 1.6 million people to flee. It has turned the three cities of Khartoum, Omdurman, and Bahri into war zones. Despite a ceasefire agreement set to end on Saturday evening, heavy artillery fire was reported in northern Omdurman and sporadic gunfire in southern Bahri.
Clashes also persisted near a market in southern Khartoum, where about 19 people were killed and 106 injured on Wednesday, according to a local neighborhood committee member.
Despite previous ceasefire violations, the United States and Saudi Arabia continue their efforts to secure an effective ceasefire through Jeddah talks. The Riyadh and Washington announced on late Thursday that they have suspended the talks a day after the Sudanese military announced its suspension of participation.
The sanctions are the first punitive measures imposed under an executive order signed by US President Joe Biden in May. They target the largest defense establishment in Sudan, the Military Industrial Corporation, which the U.S. Treasury Department said earns revenues of up to around two billion dollars and manufactures weapons and other equipment for the Sudanese military.
Washington also enforced sanctions on the Al-Janid group, which is linked to the Rapid Support Forces and accused of involvement in gold mining. It is controlled by the commander of the Rapid Support Forces, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, and his brother.
Also sanctioned was the arms company, “Giad,” also known as “Sudan Master Technology,” and “Tridev” General Trading, implicated in purchasing vehicles for the Rapid Support Forces.
US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, stated that his country imposed visa restrictions targeting several individuals in Sudan, including officials in the military, Rapid Support Forces, and leaders who were in the government of Omar al-Bashir, who was ousted four years ago.
Cameron Hudson, a former U.S. official now working at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, argued that the sanctions would have a minimal effect on the ability of both sides to continue the battles and would not be enforced by Russia or the UAE, which have ties with the Rapid Support Forces.