Months of nonviolent protest by brave Sudanese women and youth led to the fall of Sudan’s brutal dictator, Omar al-Bashir, in 2019. Following two years of uneasy balance, Sudan’s military abrogated its political agreements and disrupted the country’s transition to democracy, when in October 2021 it seized power, jailed civilian leaders, and cracked down on dissent. The massive prodemocracy protests that followed, and which continue to this day, were met with increasing violence by Sudan’s security forces.
The Sudanese Central Reserve Police, or CRP, is a militarized police unit that has been documented by Sudanese and international organizations as having been involved in violent crackdowns of protests in Sudan.
On March 21, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, designated the CRP pursuant to Executive Order 13818. This executive order implements and builds upon the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, and authorizes the blocking the assets of, among others, persons or entities responsible for or complicit in, or directly or indirectly engaged, in serious human rights abuse or corruption.
Treasury sanctioned the CRP for using excessive force against demonstrators following the October 2021, military takeover.
"On January 17, CRP officers used live ammunition against protesters, resulting in numerous deaths and injuries,” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a written statement. “Reports of rape, killings, torture, and arbitrary detentions, among other abuses committed by CRP officers as recently as March 14, are ongoing.”
As a result of the designation, all property under U.S. jurisdiction in which CRP has any interest is blocked and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with this organization. this first sanctions action since the military’s takeover demonstrates the United States’ commitment to both Sudan’s democratic transition and respect for the rights of all individuals in Sudan.
The United States fully supports the ongoing effort by UNITAMS, AU, and IGAD to facilitate an inclusive, Sudanese-led political process to restore a civilian-led transition to democracy. But this process cannot begin until military and security services “create an environment where all actors can safely participate in negotiations,” said Secretary Blinken.
To demonstrate the United States’ continued resolve in combating efforts to quash the Sudanese people’s aspirations for democracy, Secretary Blinken added, “We remain poised to use all tools at our disposal to support the Sudanese people in their pursuit of a democratic, human rights-respecting, and prosperous Sudan.”