July 14, 2024

Ceasefire Violations in Sudan Raise Concerns, US Considers Sanctions

President Joe Biden delivers remarks at a banquet in his honor at Dublin Castle, Thursday, April 13, 2023, in Dublin, Ireland. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

Just days after the signing of a ceasefire agreement in Sudan, reports of ongoing violations have raised serious concerns, prompting the United States to consider imposing sanctions on the parties involved. The US Department of State expressed alarm over the detected breaches, which include the use of artillery, military aircraft, and drones, as well as airstrikes and sustained fighting in various regions.

In a press briefing held on May 25, Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller provided an update on the situation on the ground, highlighting the troubling developments.

“We have received credible reports of ceasefire violations in Sudan, indicating a blatant disregard for the agreement,” Miller stated. The violations include clashes in Zalingei, Central Darfur, and sustained fighting in the Khartoum industrial area.

The ceasefire monitoring mechanism, responsible for overseeing the implementation of the agreement, has been diligently documenting the breaches. The United States has been closely engaged in private discussions with both sides through the Ceasefire Monitoring and Coordination Committee. Miller emphasized that the US is actively monitoring the conflict and is committed to holding the parties accountable for their actions.

“The United States retains its sanctions authority, and we will not hesitate to use it if necessary,” Miller warned. While the US remains committed to supporting the Sudanese people and facilitating peace in the region, the continued violations of the ceasefire agreement have raised concerns about the sincerity of the parties involved in resolving the conflict.

Analysts have highlighted the lack of motivation among the Sudanese generals, who seemingly believe in their ability to achieve victory through military means. Miller reiterated that there is no military solution to the conflict and emphasized the commitment of the United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the well-being of the Sudanese people.

In addition to private engagements with the parties involved, the United States will continue to work with regional partners and explore all available tools to ensure accountability. When asked about potential consequences, Miller stated, “If the violations are confirmed, the United States will make public statements, press both sides to adhere to the ceasefire, engage with regional partners, and take further actions, including the imposition of sanctions if necessary.”

Beyond the ceasefire violations in Sudan, the Department of State announced visa restrictions on two Malian military commanders and the leader of the Kremlin-backed Wagner Group in Mali. The sanctions were imposed due to their involvement in gross human rights violations during a military operation in Moura, Mali, last year. The Department emphasized its commitment to justice and accountability for human rights abuses and called for the protection of human rights and the return to civilian-led democratic governance in Mali.

Meanwhile, Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. Representative to the United Nations, addressed the UN Security Council on Peace and Security in Africa. She underscored the threats faced by people in Africa, including food insecurity, forced displacement, conflict, violence, and human rights abuses. Thomas-Greenfield expressed support for the use of UN assessed contributions for AU peace support operations but stressed the need for Security Council authorization and compliance with established standards.

As the situation in Sudan remains volatile, the United States continues to closely monitor the ceasefire violations, urging the parties involved to prioritize the well-being of the Sudanese people and the restoration of peace. The international community, regional partners, and the United States are actively working to ensure accountability and bring a lasting resolution to the conflict.

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