Home » UK sanctions businesses funding Sudan war, 15 April 2024

UK sanctions businesses funding Sudan war, 15 April 2024

  • sanctions imposed by the UK on businesses which support activity of the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces, the military groups behind the conflict in Sudan 
  • new sanctions follow the UK’s commitment to nearly double aid for Sudan as the humanitarian crisis deepens
  • the UK again calls on the warring parties to commit to a lasting ceasefire and lift restrictions which are preventing aid reaching those who need it the most

A year after the outbreak of conflict in Sudan, the UK has today (15 April) imposed new sanctions on businesses linked with financing the warring parties.

Strict measures will impose an asset freeze on companies linked to the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and will limit their financial freedom.

These sanctions send a clear signal to the warring parties that they must end fighting and meaningfully engage in a peace process.

The conflict in Sudan has caused more than 8.6 million people to flee their homes, with over 6.6 million displaced within Sudan itself – the world’s worst displacement crisis. 25 million people in Sudan need assistance, and the country is on the verge of a catastrophic hunger crisis.  The UN has formally warned of the risk of famine this year, with 18 million currently facing hunger.

Last month, the UK committed a £89 million package of support for Sudan, predominately for humanitarian aid. This includes funding to UNICEF which will provide emergency and life-saving food assistance to support people, particularly those in hard-to reach areas in Sudan, including nutrition, water and hygiene services for 500,000 children under five.  It will also support survivors of gender-based violence. 

Foreign Secretary David Cameron said:

This senseless and brutal war has devastated lives. A year on since the outbreak of fighting, we continue to see appalling atrocities against civilians, unacceptable restrictions on humanitarian access and an utter disregard for civilian life. 

The businesses that support the warring parties must be held to account, alongside those responsible for human rights abuses.  The world must not forget about Sudan. We urgently need to end the violence.

Last month, Deputy Foreign Secretary Andrew Mitchell visited Chad where he announced £89 million of funding to Sudan, including support to UNICEF which will provide emergency and life-saving food assistance.

Today, Lord Benyon took part in an International Humanitarian Conference for Sudan, where he reaffirmed the UK’s near-doubling of Official Development Assistance (ODA) for Sudan to £89 million this financial year.

The sanctions announced today are:   

  • Alkhaleej Bank, a financial institution which has been key to the RSF financing its operations and to it controlling key elements of the Sudanese economy
  • Al-Fakher Advanced Works, a holding company used by the RSF to export gold. The proceeds of these sales are used to purchase weapons to allow the RSF to continue fighting
  • Red Rock Mining, a mining and exploration company which is a subsidiary of Sudan Master Technology, which the UK has already designated and provides funds to the SAF. It is also closely linked to Defence Industries System, the economic and manufacturing arm of the SAF, which we designated last July

Background

  • on 12 July 2023 the UK imposed 6 asset freezes on 6 commercial entities. This comprised 3 commercial entities operating under the authority of the SAF and 3 operating under the authority of the RSF. We are committed to ensuring that our sanctions do not have unintended consequences
  • there is a humanitarian exemption in our Sudan sanctions regulations. This exempts activities necessary for the delivery of humanitarian assistance and other activities that support basic human needs, when these activities are carried out by certain eligible organisations (eg UN agencies), as laid out in UK legislation
  • an asset freeze prevents any UK citizen, or any business in the UK, from dealing with any funds or economic resources which are owned, held or controlled by the designated person and which are held in the UK. It will also prevent funds or economic resources being provided to or for the benefit of the designated person or entity