The Eu Sanctions 6 Companies Accused Of Trying To Undermine Stability In Conflict-Torn Sudan

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union imposed sanctions Monday on six companies it said are responsible for trying to undermine stability in conflict-ravaged Sudan, largely targeting firms linked to weapons procurement and manufacturing.

Sudan plunged into chaos last April when long-simmering tensions between the military, led by Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan, and the Rapid Support Forces paramilitary, commanded by Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, erupted into street battles in the capital, Khartoum, and other areas including the western Darfur region.

The fighting has displaced 7 million people and killed 12,000, according to the United Nations. Local doctors' groups and activists say the true death toll is far higher.

Given the “gravity of the situation in Sudan,” the EU statement said, sanctions were imposed on two companies making weapons and vehicles for Sudan’s armed forces, the Zadna International Company for Investment controlled by the armed forces and three companies involved in procuring military equipment for the RSF.

Five of the companies are Sudanese. One is registered in the United Arab Emirates.

The companies ’ assets will be frozen in the EU, and EU citizens are banned from making funds or economic resources available to them.

The United States in recent months has imposed sanctions on senior Sudanese military leaders and companies, including former Foreign Minister Ali Karti and a brother of Dagalo.

Regional partners have been trying to mediate an end the conflict along with Saudi Arabia and the U.S., which facilitated unsuccessful, indirect talks between the warring parties as recently as November.