U.S. threatens Sudan with sanctions if violence continues

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A top U.S. State Department official who deals with Sudan said on Tuesday that Washington was possible sanctions if there was more violence.

Sudanese protesters close Street 60 with burning tyres and pavers on June 3, 2019 (ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP/Getty Images)

“We’re looking at all options, including sanctions down the line should there be any kind of repeat of violence,” Makila James, deputy assistant secretary for East Africa and the Sudans, told a U.S. House of Representatives hearing.

She said they could include visa sanctions or economic sanctions. “We want to use the right tool and we want to target the right people,” James said.

Sudan’s transitional military council and an opposition coalition are locked in a debate over what form a transitional government should take following the ouster of long-time president Omar al-Bashir on April 11.

Talks between the two sides collapsed when security forces stormed a protest sit-in on June 3, killing dozens and prompting concern from world powers.

The United States sanctioned Sudan under Bashir over its alleged support for militant groups and the civil war in Darfur.

Trade sanctions were lifted in 2017 but Sudan is still on the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism, which prevents it from accessing badly needed funding from international lenders. Washington says Sudan will stay on the list until the military leaves power.

The military council has been bolstered by support from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which between them have offered $3 billion in aid.

James said Saudi Arabia and the UAE had told U.S. officials they want a civilian-led transitional government, because anything else would lead to broader regional instability.

 

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