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Sudan Tribune

Plural news and views on Sudan

US sanctions are due to Khartoum policies

By The Khartoum Monitor

Nov 9, 2005 — On is usually against blanket sanctions because of what they do to the ordinary people. The sanctions which were imposed on Sudan by the US administration in early November 1997, and which were renewed about a week ago are a case in point.

The government has been crying for the sanctions to be lifted. It employed Salva Kiir, the president of Southern Sudan to plead, on its behalf, to have the sanctions lifted but they were promptly renewed on the arrival of Kiir in the US.

The sanctions were imposed due to the government’s failure to move the peace process forward. They were brought into force due to human rights violations by the government and its refusal to move Sudan towards democracy. Sudan’s support for terrorism is one of the reasons why the sanctions are being applied.

However, the people who were and are still most affected are the ordinary Sudanese. Personal money transfers have been held up and funds for relief work have had to travel long distances to get to the beneficiaries. We, Sudanese are being disturbed at airports. We the ordinary Sudanese have become targets. This is not fair. Comprehensive sanctions do not work. So am I calling for the lifting of the sanctions? Yes and No. I am calling for the lifting of these general sanctions and their replacement by smart sanctions.

The sanctions were imposed because the government, or some members of the regime have engaged in activities that have harmed many people in the world and in Sudan. While there has been some improvement, the government or some members of the government still continue to cause suffering.

Human rights violations have more or less ended in Southern Sudan but in Darfur, they continue unabated and the government is responsible for many of those abuses.

While the government says it is fighting terrorism, some members of the regime are still being associated with terror. While a peace agreement has been signed with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), some members of the government have become an obstacle to the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).

Thus the government has not done enough to allow the sanctions to be lifted. But not all Sudanese should be punished for the crime of a few. We need smart sanctions targeting specific government officials. The current government is a national unity government which includes the SPLM.

The SPLM is trying its best to have the agreement respected but the National Congress, the ruling party, is the obstacle.

Thus, not even the whole government should be punished because the SPLM for example have done nothing to violate the CPA. It is some members of the National Congress who are abusing the CPA, using terror in Darfur, dragging their feet on the democracy front and have sympathy for some terrorist organizations such as the Lords Resistance Army (LRA).

It is such members of the National Congress and the government who we want the Americans to isolate and impose sanctions on.

The UN, we the Sudanese and all peace-loving people should supply the Americans with the names of such individuals so that smart or selective sanctions can be imposed on them.

Target the people responsible for criminal activities, not all the Sudanese people.