March 14, 2007 (WASHINGTON) ? The United States could soon impose new sanctions against Sudan, including restrictions on companies that do business there in U.S. dollars, because of the government?s refusal to accept an international force into Darfur, the U.S. special envoy to Sudan said on Wednesday.
As a first step to punish Khartoum, there were also plans to impose travel bans on and confiscate the savings accounts of three individuals in Sudan, two of them politicians accused of committing atrocities and the other a rebel leader, U.S. envoy Andrew Natsios told a conference call with aid groups.
Natsios, who was in Sudan last week and met with its leaders, said it was up to President George W. Bush to announce the proposed sanctions, which are part of a "Plan B" to try and get Khartoum to agree to the hybrid force to try to stem the violence in Sudan?s western Darfur region.
He did not specify when this might happen but said the United States and others were growing increasingly impatient.
"Enough is enough," he said. "It?s pretty clear the (U.S.) president is angrier than anyone else on this. He gets very upset when he talks about this situation."
Natsios said there had been a series of very high-level U.S. government meetings before he left for Sudan this month during which these measures were discussed.
He declined to provide the names of companies that might be affected by the new sanctions but he said it would hit those doing business in dollars.
"This will shut all that down," he added, without being more specific.
The United States has grown increasingly impatient with Sudan?s refusal to accept the UN/AU force into Darfur, where more than 200,000 people have been killed since 2003 and more than 2.5 million displaced by the conflict.
Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir sent a letter to the United Nations this month arguing in detail against U.N. plans to bolster under-financed AU military monitors and several U.S. official said this was seen as a strong signal that Bashir did not plan to allow the force into Darfur.
"I was stunned by the letter," Natsios said, adding that it appeared as if the Sudanese were urging the United States to go after them with new sanctions.
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