Home | News    Thursday 4 May 2017

HRW calls to delay revocation of Sudan sanctions

Donald Trump (John Minchillo/AP Photo)
May 3, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Human Rights Watch (HRW) Wednesday has urged the American Administration to not lift sanctions on the Sudan before ensuring tangible improvement in government records on human rights.

Next June, President Donald Trump has to take a decision on the temporary lift of sanctions on Sudan based on a five-track agreement negotiated between the two countries. The deal of the normalisation of bilateral relations provides that U.S. agencies would assess Sudan’s commitment and accordingly approve its permanent revocation or not.

Rights groups and defenders regret that the process does not include human rights situation and focus mainly on counterterrorism cooperation, humanitarian situation and other regional security matters including South Sudan.

“Sudan has a long record of demonstrating disregard for the most basic human rights,” said Leslie Lefkow, deputy Africa director at Human Rights Watch, before to call for the delay of sanctions’ revocation.

“The U.S. should delay any final decision about revoking sanctions, and take more time to insist on tangible improvements in human rights,” she said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

In a hearing on Sudan sanctions and human rights in Sudan last April, several experts on human rights called to extend the temporary suspension for additional six months, saying the decision of permanent lift can be "can be one form of pressure".

The rights group which during the past years documented grave violations of both human rights and international humanitarian law regretted that the agreement does not include "progress on longstanding patterns of human rights violations". Also, it pointed that the six month period is not enough to evaluate an improvement in the five areas.

However, former U.S. Special Envoy, Princeton Lyman, insisted that the permanent revocation of the partial embargo is "an opening to a more serious and intensive dialogue with the Government of Sudan about peace, democracy, and development"

Regarding the human rights issue, he said: "These must be part of the next phase of dialogue and any further lifting of sanctions".

Several U.S. officials and Congressmen say the partial lift of sanctions does not include the targeted sanctions which have direct effects on the government officials and do not hurt the common people like the current sanctions.

Speaking at the Pittsburgh Darfur Emergency Coalition’s annual forum on 30 April, U.S. Representative Mike Doyle called on the U.S. administration to enact targeted sanctions on the Sudanese officials responsible for the “atrocities” in Darfur and other areas.

The Democrat congressmen also joined calls to appoint a special envoy for the two Sudans.

(ST)