The United States imposed sanctions Wednesday on Sudanese paramilitary commander Abdel-Rahim Hamdan Dagalo for acts of violence and human rights abuses committed by his troops in their monthslong conflict with Sudan's army.
The U.S. Treasury said in a statement that it had sanctioned Abdel-Rahim – a senior military commander and brother of Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, who is the head of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces – accusing him of leading a group of soldiers responsible for “the massacre of civilians, ethnic killings, and use of sexual violence.”
Sudan plunged into chaos almost five months ago when long-simmering tensions between the military, led by Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan, and the RSF escalated into open warfare.
According to Wednesday's statement, the sanctions will block all U.S. property and entities owned by Abdel-Rahim. They are the first sanctions targeting an individual and made public by the U.S. since the conflict broke out.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a parallel statement on Wednesday that the U.S. was also imposing visa restrictions on fellow RSF commander, Abdul Rahman Juma, barring him from entering the country.
There was no immediate comment from the RSF. A spokesman for the paramilitary force, when contacted by the Associated Press, said they would send a written statement later.
More than 5 million people have been displaced by the fighting in Sudan, the United Nations’ migration agency said Wednesday as clashes showed no sign of easing.
Some observers praised the sanctions by Washington, saying the international community should follow suit.
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