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 Treasury Designation Targets Sudanese Government, Rebel Leader


5/29/2007

HP-426

The U.S. Department of the Treasury today blocked the assets of three Sudanese individuals, including two high-ranking government officials and a rebel leader, for their roles in fomenting violence and human rights abuses in Darfur. The Treasury also acted today to sanction 30 Sudanese companies owned or controlled by the Government of Sudan, and one company that has violated the arms embargo in Darfur.

"Even in the face of sanctions, these individuals have continued to play direct roles in the terrible atrocities of Darfur," said Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson, Jr. "We are working to call attention to their horrific acts and further isolate them from the international community."

Ahmad Muhammed Harun, Sudan's State Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, has been accused of war crimes in Darfur by the International Criminal Court in the The Hague. Sudan's head of Military Intelligence and Security, Awad Ibn Auf, was also designated today, along with Khalil Ibrahim, leader of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), a rebel group that has refused to sign the Darfur Peace Agreement.

Harun and Auf are among Khartoum's senior leadership and have acted as liaisons between the Sudanese government and the Government-supported Janjaweed militias, which have attacked and brutalized innocent civilians in the region. The two individuals also have provided the Janjaweed with logistical support and directed attacks. Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 2.5 million people have been displaced by violence and war since 2003. Previously, Harun served as State Minister for the Interior, and played a central role in coordinating and planning military operations in Darfur between 2003 and 2005. In the 1990s he was responsible for massacres in the Nuba Mountains and was nicknamed "the Butcher of Nuba."

Fighting between the Government of Sudan, the Janjaweed, and splintered rebel groups has continued unabated in Sudan, despite the signing of the African Union-brokered Darfur Peace Agreement in May 2006. The Government of Sudan and the largest rebel group, the Sudan Liberation Movement, signed the agreement, but other rebel groups, including the JEM, declined to do so. The JEM is responsible for violence and suffering in Darfur and Khalil Ibrahim, as leader of the JEM, is personally responsible for rebel activity aimed at further destabilizing the situation on the ground.

Today's action brings to seven the number of Sudanese individuals for whom access to the U.S. financial system is prohibited under Executive Order 13400, which targets perpetrators of human rights abuses in Darfur in western Sudan. Azza Air Transport Company has also been sanctioned under Executive Order 13400 for transferring small arms, ammunition and artillery to Sudanese government forces and Janjaweed militia in Darfur.

An additional 30 companies have been designated today pursuant to Executive Orders 13067 and 13412 because they are owned or controlled by the Government of Sudan. These orders permit the imposition of economic sanctions on the Sudanese government for its continued support for international terrorism, ongoing efforts to destabilize neighboring governments, and human rights violations – in particular with respect to the conflict in Darfur. The United States first imposed sanctions on the Government of Sudan in 1997.

"These companies have supplied cash to the Bashir regime, enabling it to purchase arms and further fuel the fighting in Darfur," added Paulson. "By denying these companies access to the U.S. and international financial system, we will make it harder for the Government of Sudan to pursue its deadly agenda."

Among the companies designated in today's action are GIAD Industrial City, which has supplied armored vehicles to the Sudanese government for military operations in Darfur; Sudatel, the national telecommunications company; and five firms in the petrochemical sector, including Advanced Petroleum Company, RAM Energy Company, Bashaier, Hi-Tech Petroleum Group, and Hi-Tech Chemicals.

As a result of Treasury's designations, any assets these individuals and entities may have that are within U.S. jurisdiction must be frozen, and U.S. persons are prohibited from transacting or doing business with them.

The United States, the single largest international donor of humanitarian assistance to Sudan, has called for an end to the fighting in Darfur and for those responsible for crimes and atrocities to be brought to justice. In particular, the United States, along with the international community, is concerned about recent attacks on humanitarian workers in Darfur.

The United States continues to push for a peaceful political solution that will end the violence in Darfur and allow refugees and displaced persons to return to their homes.

A complete list of the individuals and entities designated today is posted at the following link: http://www.treasury.gov/offices/enforcement/ofac/actions/20070529.shtml .

 

 

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