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Sudan: Darfur awaits new foreign affairs policy US

November 11 - 2016 WASHINGTON / EL FASHER
President elect of the United States, Donald Trump (file photo)
President elect of the United States, Donald Trump (file photo)

Displaced people in Darfur have submitted a package of demands to the United States President elect Donal Trump, demanding a flight embargo and the deployment of troops with a strong mandate. “It is not easy for Sudan to be among the priorities of the agenda of the United States President elect during his three first months,” Omer Gamaruldin Ismail says from Washington.

Speaking to Radio Dabanga yesterday, the Policies’ Coordinator of the activist Enough Project in the US said: “It is too early to know the orientation and the new US administration's policy toward Sudan. Especially because the landmark policies of the President elect Donald Trump towards Sudan have not been clear so far.

“It is not easy for Sudan to be among the priorities of the agenda of the administration of the President elect, Donald Trump, during the three first months. Or during the first hundred days.”

'Impose new economic sanctions on Sudan.'

Ismail expects it to happen, however, in the event that Trump's presidential campaign and foreign policy advisor Walid Phares is selected as one of his top White House advisers for Africa and the Middle East, or as the American Security Council representative.

Phares recently said not to lift the economic sanctions on Sudan. Speaking to American-Sudanese from the Nuba Mountains, Phares criticised Obama’s Administration for marginalising the issue of Sudan during his two terms in office.

“New economic sanctions should be imposed against Sudan by Trump's administration,” Ismail added. In October, US President Barack Obama decided to extend sanctions on Sudan for another year, saying Khartoum government's policies remained an "unusual threat" to the national security of the United States.

Flight embargo and investigations

On Thursday, the Association of Displaced People and Refugees in Darfur submitted a package of demands to Trump after congratulating him on winning the election on Wednesday.

Hussein Abu Sharati, the spokesman for the association, told Radio Dabanga that they request the President elect to immediately re-open the file of Darfur at the International Criminal Court. They want an independent investigation into the alleged use of chemical weapons in Jebel Marra, as well as the mass rape of girls and women in Tabit in 2014, and the forced displacement of civilians in Darfur.

“Our package of demands include a flight embargo on the Sudanese government's air force, that continues to bomb civilians in Jebel Marra in Darfur, in the Nuba Mountains, and in Blue Nile state. Also, disarm the militias and return the international aid organisations that Omar Al Bashir has expelled, to Darfur,” Abu Sharati said.

The displaced people in Darfur hope that the new US President will send international troops with a strong mandate to protect civilians, and expel new militant settlers from the occupied areas of origin of the displaced people.

'President Obama's foreign policy towards Darfur and Sudan failed because it lacked a clear strategy.'

Lawyers of the Darfur Bar Association (DBA) also congratulated Donald Trump on winning the presidency of the United States. “The conditions and the complexities of world issues need a review and change, that begins with reconciliation with ourselves,” a statement read on Thursday.

There has been “a lack of a clear strategic policy under the outgoing President Barack Obama towards issues related to democracy and human rights in a number of zones in the world, including Sudan and Darfur”. The DBA thinks that this made his policy toward Sudan a failure, in the light of growing human rights violations.

In the statement, the lawyers said they expect Trump to realise the historic achievements in promoting democracy and human rights issues around the world.

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