Home | News    Wednesday 28 June 2017

Human rights prompted U.S. sanctions on Sudan: Prendergast

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John Prendergast in Congo 2010 . (Jeff Trussell/Enough Photo)
June 27, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The Enough Project Founding Director, John Prendergast, Tuesday has vehemently dismissed statements that economic sanctions on Sudan have no link with human rights but were only motivated by support to terrorist groups.

In an interview with the AFP, U.S. Chargé d’Affaires to Khartoum Ambassador Steven Koutsis rejected calls to link between the lift of sanctions and the human rights situation in Sudan saying the purpose of the embargo was to end Khartoum support to terrorist groups and later to bring peace to Darfur.

"None of these other issues was the point of sanctions, and none of these other issues, therefore, should be linked to the lifting of sanctions," Koustis said.

In response to these statements, Prendergast who was the former Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council under the administration of President Clinton in 1997 said the sanctions were also "driven by a desire to impose a consequence for the regime’s atrocious human rights record".

"At that time the Khartoum government was using the withholding of humanitarian aid as a weapon of war, aerially bombing villages, and persecuting Christians and other religious minorities (in Southern Sudan)," said Prendergast.

"Those were major factors driving support for these sanctions from Congress and within the Clinton administration. And the support for these sanctions on the basis of human rights and terrorism concerns was a bipartisan effort," he added.

Enough Project and Human Rights Watch among other are calling to delay the determination about the permanent revocation of sanctions on Sudan at least six months in order to define a new track for peace and human rights in Sudan before to decide on the definitive lift of embargo next July.

International Crisis Group (ICG) recently called to lift sanction on Sudan, considering that Washington has other economic and political tools to bring Khartoum to work on the files of peace and human rights.

The ICG stressed that a decision to not repeal the sanctions could strengthen the hardliners in Khartoum who "believe that Sudan should seek an outright military victory, especially at a time when it enjoys a serious advantage over isolated, weak and internally divided armed groups".

On Tuesday, Sudanese government said it has implemented the requirements agreed in the five tracks agreement sealed with Washington to normalise relations. Also, It pointed to the cooperation on counterterrorism stressing that Khartoum supports the U.S. efforts to protect its national security.

Nonetheless, The Enough Project Founding Director reiterated calls on the American administration take into account the human rights and humanitarian factors when it comes to taking a decision on this respect within two weeks.

"We hope that the Trump administration will not use faulty or biased criteria in its assessment as to whether to permanently lift sanctions when it makes its decision on July 12, and we urge administration officials and Congress to examine the evidence that government-sponsored violence and humanitarian aid obstruction have not ended."

Last January, the former President Barak Obama decided ease sanctions on Sudan but said the decisions would be delayed by 180 days in line with a five-track process to open humanitarian access to civilians in conflict areas, improve human rights record, resolve political-military conflicts, including in Darfur, and contribute to regional efforts for peace in South Sudan besides the fight against the Ugandan rebel LRA.

(ST)

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 28 June 2017 09:35, by Mohamed

    Prendegrast and his Clooney/Rice twats. Your ideas helped create the South Sudan monster of a regime, What other disastours do you have up your sleeves for OUR country?
    I repeat...OUR Country!!!
    You war mongers!!!

    repondre message

  • 28 June 2017 13:57, by Angelo Achuil

    Mohammed, Are denying Khartoum did these?

    "At that time the Khartoum government was using the withholding of humanitarian aid as a weapon of war, aerially bombing villages, and persecuting Christians and other religious minorities (in Southern Sudan)."

    If you aren’t, good but if you do, then all I can say is that it’s so sad you neither "know" nor "delete" the bloodiest history Khartoum did.

    repondre message

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