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Bermuda joins UK sanctions bid to end Sudan war

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Global concern: French President Emmanuel Macron, right, speaks during a session at the international conference on Sudan on Monday, April 15, in Paris. Top diplomats and aid groups met in the French capital to drum up humanitarian support for Sudan after a yearlong war has devastated the African country and pushed its people to the brink of famine (Photograph by Aurelien Morissard/Pool/AP)

Bermuda is joining the United Kingdom in sanctions against businesses linked with financing the warring parties in the latest conflict in Sudan.

The Bermuda Monetary Authority has released the latest financial sanctions notice from the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation, HM Treasury.

The sanctions are part of an international effort to end the war, and bring relief to 25 million Sudanese people, desperately in need of aid that is being blocked by the warring parties.

The UK is targeting businesses which are supporting the activity of the two factions, the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces.

In Paris on Monday, France, Germany and the European Union organised an international humanitarian conference for Sudan and neighbouring countries. Some 58 countries were represented at the meeting.

It is the politics of war that major media is less likely to spotlight the tensions of African countries than other feared or favoured nations.

The yearlong battle in the Northeast African country, known officially as the Republic of the Sudan, is just the latest conflict in the continent’s third largest country.

The oil- and mineral-rich nation has been faced with a variety of conflicts since becoming independent in 1956 – including foreign invasions, ethnic tensions, religious confrontations and disputes over the resources themselves.

Leading the way: German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock at the international conference on Sudan, in Paris Monday, April 15, 2024 (Photograph by Bertrand Guay/Pool/AP)

But as of this week’s sanctions, the UK has again called on the warring parties to commit to a lasting ceasefire and lift restrictions which are preventing aid reaching those who need it the most.

With a deepening humanitarian crisis, the UK has committed to nearly doubling its aid for the war-torn country.

The UN has said that as of last month, the latest conflict had claimed some 15,000 lives and injured a further 33,000 others, although doctors on the ground warned that published figures do not include all casualties.

As of this week, three organisations have been added to the UK sanctions list and are now subject to asset freeze.

They are Al-Fakher Advanced Works Co Ltd, Alkhaleej Bank Co Ltd and Red Rock Mining Company.

The notice said the action under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018, provide for the imposition of financial sanctions.

Groups and individuals are advised to check to see if they maintain any accounts or hold any funds or economic resources for those on the consolidated list, and, report them to the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation.

Failure to comply may be a criminal offence.

The UK said Monday: “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.

“ (Also), 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 (nearly $111 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.”

UK 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.”

The UK statement said sanctions announced in Bermuda and London Monday are against:

• 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 (were) designated last July

The UK imposed six asset freezes on six commercial entities last July – three commercial entities operating under the authority of the SAF and three operating under the authority of the RSF.

The overall sanctions package includes a humanitarian exemption for activities necessary for assistance and the support of basic human needs by the UN and other certified organisations.

The asset freeze prevents any Bermudian, UK citizen, or any business in Bermuda or 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 Bermuda or the UK.

It will also prevent funds or economic resources being provided to, or for the benefit of, the designated person or entity.

Topic at hand: Delegates attend the international conference on Sudan, in Paris Monday, April 15. Diplomats and aid groups met to drum up humanitarian support for Sudan after a yearlong war (Photograph by Bertrand Guay/Pool/AP)

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Published April 16, 2024 at 8:00 am (Updated April 17, 2024 at 8:08 am)

Bermuda joins UK sanctions bid to end Sudan war

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