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Sudan opposition downplay impact of eased US sanctions

January 16 - 2017 KHARTOUM
Fruit sellers at the El Soug El Arabi in downtown Khartoum (Transitions Abroad)
Fruit sellers at the El Soug El Arabi in downtown Khartoum (Transitions Abroad)

Leading members of Sudanese opposition parties do not expect much impact of Washington’s easing of the financial sanctions on Sudan on the deteriorating economic situation in the country.

The president of the National Umma Party (NUP), El Sadig El Mahdi, said in a statement on Sunday that the US decision to ease the sanctions is based on unreal political convictions. He expects however that the partial lifting of the sanctions will have a positive effect on commercial import and export transactions.

On Friday, the USA announced that it will partially lift a 20-year-old trade embargo against Sudan, unfreeze assets, and remove financial sanctions, as a result of Sudan's “positive actions it has taken over the last 6 months”.

“These actions include a marked reduction in offensive military activity, culminating in a pledge to maintain a cessation of hostilities in conflict areas in Sudan, and steps toward the improvement of humanitarian access throughout Sudan, as well as cooperation with the United States on addressing regional conflicts and the threat of terrorism,” Obama said.

The implementation of the decision will be delayed by 180 days to see whether Sudan acts further to improve its human rights record, and resolve its political and military conflicts.

“The lifting of the sanctions cannot be considered a panacea for solving the various crises in Sudan. The many problems we are facing now are a result of Khartoum’s policies which have destroyed all production bases in the country.”

No panacea’

Omar El Digeir, President of the Sudanese Congress Party told Radio Dabanga that he does not expect that the easing of the sanctions will improve the financial and economic situation in the country.

Yet, he expressed his hope that the partial lifting of the sanctions will contribute to alleviating the suffering of the Sudanese people.

“The lifting of the sanctions cannot be considered a panacea for solving the various crises in Sudan,” El Digeir said. “The many problems we are facing now are a result of Khartoum’s policies which have destroyed all production bases in the country.”

He pointed to the 180 days delay in the implementation, and predicted that “The Sudanese government will never be able to improve its human rights record”.

Sudan peace not important'

NUP Secretary-General Sarah Nugdallah as well downplayed the importance of the partial lifting of the US sanctions against Sudan. She also pointed to the six-month delay “during which the government has to prove its good conduct”.

“The Sudanese government and the US authorities have been negotiating security issues and economy tracks for a long time,” she said.

“The partial lifting of the sanctions is a reward for the National Congress Party regime which has been courting the US Administration for years.”

“The Americans ranked the peace process in Sudan very low at their list of requirements in the region. Much more important is the fight against terrorism, against the Army of the Lord in Uganda, the war in South Sudan, and allowing humanitarian aid delivery to the Two Areas (South Kordofan and Blue Nile states).

Reward’

According to Yahya El Hussein, Chairman of the Sudanese Baath Party, Washington’s decision to ease the sanctions against Sudan is based on a deal between the security and intelligence forces of the two countries.

“The partial lifting of the sanctions is a reward for the National Congress Party regime which has been courting the US Administration for years. Khartoum has handed the USA files about dozens of citizens from different countries who have no direct relationship with terrorism,” he claimed.


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