US urges Sudan’s RSF to stop shelling civilian areas

The U.S. said it is concerned by reports that the Sudanese paramilitary group, Rapid Support Forces (RSF), has intensified shelling in South Darfur and Omdurman, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said on Wednesday.

Fighting between the Sudanese army and the RSF erupted on April 15 over tensions linked to a planned transition to civilian rule. It has devastated the capital, Khartoum, and sparked ethnically-driven attacks in Darfur.

In September, the US Treasury Department announced the imposition of sanctions on the Deputy Commander of the Rapid Support Forces in Sudan, Abdel Rahim Hamdan Dagalo (Hemedti’s brother), due to his forces committing acts of violence and human rights violations, including targeting civilians, ethnic killings, and using sexual violence.

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“Since the beginning of the conflict between the Rapid Support Forces and the Sudanese Armed Forces on April 15, 2023, both sides have failed to implement a ceasefire, and the Rapid Support Forces and their allied militias have been accused of committing widespread human rights violations in Darfur and elsewhere,” the US noted.

On September 28, the United States announced the imposition of sanctions on former Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Karti on charges of obstructing efforts to reach a ceasefire agreement that would put an end to the conflict that the country has been witnessing for months.

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Karti currently holds the position of Secretary-General of the Islamic Movement in Sudan and held a position at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs between 2010 and 2015, during the era of ousted President Omar Al-Bashir.

The US noted that following the ouster of Al-Bashir in a military coup in 2019, Karti led “efforts to undermine” the civilian-led transitional government headed by Abdullah Hamdok.

Washington also accused Karti of standing in the way of attempts to reach a calm agreement between the army and the Rapid Support Forces in the battles that broke out between them since mid-April.

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