U.S. imposes sanctions on three Sudanese figures with ties to former leader Omar al-Bashir

CAIRO (AP) — The United States imposed sanctions Monday on three Sudanese individuals accused of undermining "peace, security and stability” in the conflict-stricken African nation.

The sanctions imposed by the Department of the Treasury block all property and entities owned by Taha Osman Ahmed al-Hussein, Salah Abdallah Mohamed Salah and Mohamed Etta al-Moula Abbas that are in the U.S.

All three held senior government positions under former autocratic President Omar al-Bashir, who ruled Sudan for 30 years. They were forced out of public office after al-Bashir was toppled in a popular uprising in 2019.

The sanctions are the latest the U.S. has imposed on Sudanese leaders and companies in recent months.

Sudan plunged into chaos in April when long-simmering tensions between the military, led by Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan, and the Rapid Support Force paramilitary commanded by Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo escalated into open warfare.

The conflict had killed up to 9,000 people by October,, according to the United Nations. However, activists and doctors groups say the real figure is far higher.

In September, the U.S. imposed sanctions on Abdel-Rahim Hamdan Dagalo - brother of the RSF leader - for alleged acts of violence and human rights abuses committed by the paramilitary.

The U.S. also placed sanctions in June on four key companies either linked to or owned by the army and the RSF. In addition, it put visa restrictions on officials from both Sudanese sides, as well as other leaders affiliated with al-Bashir, but didn’t specify which individuals were affected.

Salah - otherwise known as Salah Gosh - was the head of Sudan's now disbanded National Intelligence and Security Service. In Monday's report, Washington accused the former intelligence chief of plotting to derail Sudan's democratic transition through a power-sharing government that ran for more than two years before a coup led by Burhan upended it in Oct. 2021.

Al-Hussein served as vice president to al-Bashir and was a longstanding figure in the autocrat's ruling National Congress Party.

Abbas was a former Sudanese ambassador and also a key figure in the country's disbanded intelligence service. According to the U.S Treasury, he fled to Turkey following al-Bashir's fall.

The precise whereabouts of the three men targeted in the new wave of sanctions were not immediately known.

The fighting between the army and the RSF has reduced Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, to an urban battlefield, with neither side managing to gain control of the city.

Meanwhile, in the western Darfur region, which was the site of a genocidal campaign in the early 2000s, the conflict has morphed into ethnic violence, with the RSF and allied Arab militias attacking ethnic African groups, according to rights groups and the U.N.

With the country’s fragile public infrastructure in tatters, the threat posed by a deadly disease outbreak is growing.

At least 161 people have died from cholera in Sudan since September, the U.N's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a report published Monday.

According to the U.N agency, there have been at least 5,178 suspected cholera cases during the past three months, with most occurring in the central and eastern states of the country, including Gedaref and Khartoum.