UK announces sanctions on 'vast financial empires' fuelling war in Sudan

UK announces sanctions on 'vast financial empires' fuelling war in Sudan
With the war in Sudan spreading, more civilian life being lost and no peace horizon, the British government has sanctioned companies it claims are linked to Sudan’s rival factions.
2 min read
12 July, 2023
Fighting in Sudan has been ongoing since April, with Khartoum facing being the scene of some of the heaviest clashes [Getty]

The British government announced on Wednesday that it has imposed sanctions on “the vast financial empires” funding the warring sides in Sudan, in a bid to pressure the rivals to engage in the peace process and to facilitate humanitarian aid.

Six businesses in total were targeted by the sanctions. The UK government identified three “commercial entities” which had bankrolled and provided support to the Sudanese army and three that did the same for the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

The sanctions also applied to businesses which were involved with the leaders of each side, namely the leader of the Sudanese army General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and RSF leader General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, better known as Hemedti. 

The Defence Industries Systems (DIS), and two other small entities, were blacklisted by the UK for bankrolling and providing support to the Sudanese army and Burhan.

DIS is a major conglomerate that owns over 200 companies, with an annual of $2 billion.

The UK also sanctioned Al-Junaid, which it identified as having been set up by Hemedti for the exclusive purpose of financing and arming the RSF, along with two other companies linked to the paramilitary group.

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“These sanctions are directly targeting those whose actions have destroyed the lives of millions. Both sides have committed multiple ceasefire violations in a war, which is completely unjustified,” British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said in a statement.

“Innocent civilians continue to face the devastating effects of the hostilities, and we simply cannot afford to sit by and watch as money from these companies, all funding the RSF or [Sudanese army], is spent on a senseless conflict.”

The UK sanctions come a month after the US imposed its own sanctions on two companies linked with the RSF and two associated with the Sudanese army.


The conflict began in April with tensions between al-Burhan and his then deputy Hemedti spilling out across the country into what many far could turn into all-out civil war with ethnic dimensions akin to the war in Darfur

All attempts to broker peace have so far failed.