Sudan’s military chief targets funding lines of rival RSF

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Sopuruchi Onwuka

Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan of Sudan’s military government has ordered the freezing of all bank accounts belonging to leaders and financiers of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), putting the ongoing effort at reaching truce between the two sides at risk.

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The two sides have battled for weeks across Sudan, pushing the troubled country to the brink of all-out war.

The conflict between the country’s rival military groups, The Oracle Today reports, has killed hundreds and displaced hundreds of thousands since it broke out in mid-April, creating a humanitarian crisis inside the country and at its borders.

In a decree issued late on Sunday, Gen. Burhan targeted the official accounts of the RSF and all companies belonging to the group in Sudanese bank. He also ordered replacement of the Governor of the country’s central bank to facilitate the enforcement of the decrees.

Analysts think that that cutting financial support to the RSF might weaken the group and confer advantage to the military government in the ongoing scramble for control of the country.

The RSF has, over the past decade, amassed great wealth through the gradual acquisition of Sudanese financial institutions and gold reserves. And the military government thinks that cutting access to the RSF’s cash vaults would affect sustainability of the group’s war efforts.

Since mid-April, the Sudanese army, led by Burhan, and the RSF, commanded by Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, have been locked in a power struggle that has forced thousands to flee to neighboring countries.

Chaos has taken over much of the country since the conflict broke out. The capital, Khartoum, has been reduced to an urban battlefield and the western Darfur region is rocked by deadly tribal clashes. The violence has also killed over 600 people, including civilians, according to the WHO.

Human rights organizations have accused the RSF of mass looting and attacking civilians, and the military of indiscriminately bombing residential areas. The two side agreed to several short cease-fires since the fighting started, but all were violated. Both have also traded blame and exchanged heated accusations of human rights abuses.

Last Thursday, the military and the RSF signed a pact in the Saudi city of Jeddah, promising safe passage for civilians fleeing the conflict and protection for humanitarian operations in the East African nation. International efforts — led by Saudi Arabia and the United States — are underway in an attempt to turn Thursday’s agreement into a lasting truce.

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