Blinken says US considering actions against Sudan leaders

AFP , Thursday 1 Jun 2023

Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned Thursday that the United States could take action against rival Sudanese leaders after the collapse of a US-brokered truce.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken attends a press conference at the National Museum after an informal meeting of NATO Foreign Affairs Ministers in Oslo, Norway on June 1, 2023. AFP


The United States is "looking at steps that we can take to make clear our views on any leaders who are moving Sudan in the wrong direction, including by perpetuating the violence and by violating ceasefires that they've actually committed to," Blinken told reporters.

Blinken did not spell out what actions Washington could take or whether it would personally target the heads of the army and the rival paramilitary Rapid Support Forces or take a broader approach.

Blinken, who was in Oslo for NATO talks, said the United States would remain engaged and stopped short of blaming one side for violating the truce, after the army announced its withdrawal on Wednesday.

Blinken acknowledged wide violations of a series of ceasefires brokered by the United States and Saudi Arabia between the army and the Rapid Support Forces.

"We did see the provision of humanitarian assistance going forward. But it has been incredibly imperfect and incredibly fragile," Blinken said.

"Now we're seeing actions -- again, by both sides -- in clear violation of the commitments they made," he said.

A number of US lawmakers and activists have criticized President Joe Biden's administration for not taking earlier action, including sanctions, against army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and paramilitary commander Mohamed Hamdan Daglo.

US diplomats have argued that it was more useful to preserve relationships to negotiate between them.

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