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Sudan rejects extension of US sanctions for another year

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November 4, 2015 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s foreign ministry has expressed deep regret over the United States’ decision to renew the economic sanctions for another year saying the move violates the international legitimacy.

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The US imposed comprehensive sanctions on Sudan in 1997 (US Embassy in Khartoum website)

Washington imposed economic and trade sanctions on Sudan in 1997 in response to its alleged connection to terror networks and human rights abuses. In 2007 it strengthened the embargo, citing abuses in Darfur which it labelled as genocide.

In a message to the Congress on 28 October, President Barak Obama extended the national emergency with respect to Sudan for another year beginning on 3 November.

“The actions and policies of the Government of Sudan continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States,” Obama said.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, Sudan’s foreign ministry rejected the reasons stated by the White House for the renewal of the sanctions, saying the move is contrary to the international legitimacy.

The statement said the US decision comes at a time when Sudan is continuing its constructive efforts to achieve stability and maintain security in the region, pointing to its role in the fight against organized and cross-border crimes and human trafficking besides its cooperation in the counter-terrorism efforts.

It pointed to the international consensus against any unilateral economic sanctions, saying "it represent a clear violation for the international law and the rights of the peoples to achieve sustainable development".

The foreign ministry added that nations of the world have agreed that economic sanctions represent a threat to peace and social security and leads to escalation and prolongation of the conflicts.

It is noteworthy that the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development contained an item preventing member states from applying unilateral sanctions particularly against developing nations.

The relevant item urges member states to refrain from promulgating and applying any unilateral economic, financial or trade measures not in accordance with international law and the UN charter that impede the full achievement of economic and social development, particularly in developing countries.

The statement further said the Sudanese government is aware of its responsibilities towards its citizens, noting it would meet pledges made by president Omer al-Bashir to achieve national consensus through dialogue.

Dozens of Sudanese have protested in front of the United States (US) embassy in Khartoum on Tuesday against 18 years of economic sanctions imposed on Sudan by the American administration.

They handed over a protest memo to the US Chargé d’Affaires Jerry Lanier demanding immediate lift of the sanctions.

Last September Sudanese foreign minister said he agreed with his American counterpart to discuss a roadmap for the sanctions removal.

(ST)

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