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Darfur and Two Areas activists urge Obama to maintain sanctions on Sudan


October 8, 2014 (WASHINGTON) – Sudanese activists living in the United States of America called on president Barack Obama to rejects efforts conducted by the African Union to lift economic sanctions on their country.

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US president Barack Obama (Photo: Getty Images)

“We are writing to you today because we are deeply concerned about the recent actions by the African Union (AU), led by Mr. Thabo Mbeki, in concert with some leaders and parties aligned with the Government of Sudan, to rescue the ailing regime in Khartoum while ignoring the suffering people in the war-torn regions of Sudan,” said the letter which is signed by 22 groups and 424 individuals.

In a meeting held on 12 September the Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AUPSC) called on the warring parties in the Two Areas and Darfur to meet in Addis Ababa to negotiate a cessation of hostilities to be followed by an all parties meeting to reach a framework agreement on the national dialogue.

The 15-member body further urged the regional and international financial institutions to provide an economic support package to Sudan, but also called to lift the economic sanctions imposed by the US government and the European Union “in order to contribute positively towards the creation of enabling conditions for the success of the National Dialogue”.

The activists who identified themselves as the sons of Darfur, Nuba Mountains, and Blue Nile said the AUPSC is seeking to financially rescue a government that uses “the majority of its funds to finance its ongoing war against its own people”.

They further blamed Khartoum government for disregarding calls by the African Union to implement confidence building measures in order to create a suitable atmosphere before the national dialogue process.

Khartoum is ignoring to "ensure political freedoms" and allow "humanitarian assistance to all populations in war-affected areas," they pointed out.

The Sudan troika group including Norway, United Kingdom and the United States welcomed on Thursday 18 September welcoming the signing of an agreement on national dialogue and constitutional process signed by the rebels and national dialogue committee with the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) led by the former South African president Thabo Mbeki.

However the troika underscored the need for a comprehensive and inclusive process in Sudan, adding that dialogue can only succeed “in an environment conducive to meaningful participation of all of the country’s diverse constituents, free from any restrictions to the right to assembly or the right to freedom of expression”.

The statement also emphasised the need to agree on “timeline and benchmarks” for holding the elections, “so as to ensure elections can be broadly participatory and yield legitimate and widely recognised outcomes”.

The Sudanese government refuses to postpone the general elections announced for April 2015. Khartoum also continue to crackdown on political and human rights activists. The security service continue on the other hand to ban the travel of opponents censor the press.


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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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