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Sudan says US sanctions largest violation of human rights

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May 16, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese government reiterated its severe criticism of unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States and described it as the main reason for the deterioration in the human rights situation.

Sudan’s minister for justice, Mohamed Bushara Dousa, at the 27th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on 24 September 2014 (Photo: UN/Jean-Marc Ferré)

Each year, Washington routinely renews economic sanctions imposed on Khartoum since 1997 over allegations of human rights abuses and support of terrorism.

Despite Khartoum’s cooperation on counterterrorism issues since 2001, the US has maintained and even stiffened the sanctions due to the new conflict which erupted in Sudan’s western region of Darfur.

At a symposium titled "Unilateral sanctions and their impact on humans in Sudan" held at Sharjah Hall in Khartoum on Saturday, the Sudanese Justice Minister Mohamed Bushara Dousa urged the United Nations Independent Expert on Human Rights Aristide Nononsi, who was present, to refrain from submitting his report to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in a political light.

Dousa urged Nononsi to build the report based on the figures and statistics prepared by experts present at the forum which laid out the adverse impact of US sanctions on vital sectors of the economy.

"If you want to succeed and come right before UNHRC which tasked you with this job, I hope that you would consider the issue of unjust sanctions imposed by the US and other countries," he said.

The minister decried what he called US chasing of international and regional institutions that deal with Sudan financially and in the service sector which sometimes resulted in sanctions for these companies.

He described institutions that bow to US pressure as “weak”.

A newspaper reported last week that 36 Arab, European and Asian banks suspended dealings with the Sudanese-French Bank.

An official at the bank told al-Tareeq newspaper that no longer receives transfers from outside Sudan, especially those from the US and Europe after intermediary banks halted their dealings with Sudan for fear of US sanctions which exacerbated the issue of financial transfers to and from Sudan.

The Sudanese French Bank was one of three Sudanese banks receiving remittances in foreign currencies from abroad after obtaining special permission from the US Treasury Department to service humanitarian agencies.

Sudan’s justice minister called for pressing Washington and informing them that "human rights in Sudan are excellent except for what the US has imposed economic sanctions on".

He asserted that the sanctions pose the biggest violation of Sudanese citizens’ human rights and that should they be lifted human rights situation would be strengthened.

The minister said the annual UNHRC meeting in Geneva ends up being the "dialogue of the deaf" because it is based on political issues.

"We always get buried in issues of arrests, trials and prisons and leave out the key issues which affect everything, even sports," Dousa said.

An official at the Sudanese Ministry of Electricity by the name of Salah Gabu said that sanctions reduced coverage of residential sector from 22% in 2007 to only 5%.

Gabu added that between 6-8% of the population only enjoy electricity services with the main reason being economic sanctions.

"The average power outage times in the world only 1.5% while in Sudan its 33% due to its dependence on US software which cannot be obtained because of the sanctions," he said.

The national center for mine action in Sudan Amer Abdel-Sadek said the US sanctions hindered the government’s efforts to declare Sudan a mine-free zone.

(ST)

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