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EU welcomes sanctions relief, calls for AUHIP roadmap

January 17 - 2017 KHARTOUM
View of the European Parliament building in Strasbourg (Press Association)
View of the European Parliament building in Strasbourg (Press Association)

The European Union stressed the importance of the AUHIP roadmap for peace in Sudan in a press statement to welcome the easing of the economic sanctions by the United States on Sudan.

“The announcement of President Obama on the easing of the sanctions on Sudan is an important step that should provide the basis for the government of Sudan to move forward with political reforms and to contribute to peace in the region,” according to the press release today.

President Obama decided that it will partially lift a 20-year-old trade embargo against Sudan because of Sudan's “positive actions it has taken over the last 6 months”, with the plan to unfreeze assets and remove financial sanctions.

“The EU will continue its dialogue with the Government of Sudan towards further progress and urge all parties to speed up engagement on the AUHIP roadmap framework. The EU has supported the roadmap in the past and will continue to do so.”

The roadmap, prepared by AUHIP chairman Thabo Mbeki  and agreed upon by the government and rebel movements in August 2016, is based on a cessation of hostilities and political negotiations on the conflict areas, and a second component related to the National Dialogue process.

Meanwhile opposition parties in Sudan downplayed the impact of the decision on the situation in Sudan. The Sudan Communist Party has announced its rejection of the use of sticks and carrots by the USA against the people in Sudan, demanding the complete lift of the sanctions.

The interests of the two countries have coincided now and resulted in the lifting of sanctions.” - Mohamed Mukhtar El Khatib

The political secretary of the Communist Party, Mohammed Mukhtar El Khatib told a news conference at the premises of the party in Khartoum that the sanctions, whether a stimulation or punishment, “are used to tame the regime until it becomes the policeman of America in serving its interests”.

He mocked the regime’s celebration of the US government and its allies’ decision and said that the Obama administration does not address human rights in the country as its fundamental issues.

Improvements expected

In reaction to the announced easing of sanctions last Friday, Sudan's Industry Minister, Mohamed Yousef Ali said that there are technological opportunities ahead in the industrial sector, in particular the sectors of textile, pharmaceuticals, leather and engineering industries which his ministry will develop in the coming period. “The upswing of the industrial sector will solve the problem of unemployment by creating new jobs for the youth,” Industry Minister Yousef Ali said in a press statement on Sunday.

On Sunday the Ministry of Minerals said to expect “flow of funding, import of drilling machinery, exchange of banking transfers and import of modern laboratories” to emerge once the sanctions have been eased. President Obama has allowed a reviewing period of six months before the decision becomes final.


Related:

Sudan Democracy First: Will the AUHIP roadmap lead to peace? (September 18, 2016)


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