Sudan: Khartoum Condemns Renewal of U.S. Sanctions

Khartoum — The Sudanese government blasted the decision of United States president Barack Obama to renew the decade-long economic sanctions calling it the biggest threat to peace and social security in Sudan.

The White House on Wednesday published on its website a message from Obama notifying the US congress of his decision to continue the application of the sanctions imposed since 1997 on Sudan.

"The crisis constituted by the actions and policies of the Government of Sudan that led to the declaration of a national emergency in Executive Order 13067 of November 3, 1997, and the expansion of that emergency in Executive Order 13400 of April 26, 2006, and with respect to which additional steps were taken in Executive Order 13412 of October 13, 2006, has not been resolved," the declaration reads.

"These actions and policies are hostile to U.S. interests and continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States. Therefore, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared with respect to Sudan and maintain in force the sanctions against Sudan to respond to this threat".

In a statement issued by the foreign ministry today, Sudan said that the sanctions deny the people their rights in development and keeps them in a cycle of poverty and underdevelopment.

The foreign ministry stressed that sanctions would only strengthen Sudan's resolve on the need to put more effort, synergy and cohesion for the purpose of nation-building and the consolidation of tolerance and peaceful coexistence .

It pointed out that with the exception of the US and Israel, there is a global consensus against unilateral economic sanctions because it represents a deep and clear violation of international law and a breach of the rights of people to development and their access to essential services.

The statement accused the US of renewing sanctions every year for different reasons as part of its strategy to target Sudan and isolate it economically in a clear political machination that demonstrates duplicity and contradiction.

The US sometimes claims that they seek peace through the imposition of sanctions , even though these measures leads to an escalation and continuation of conflicts, the ministry added.

"At other times [US] claims to be fighting terrorism but its policies and double standards fuel terrorism and provide it with the suitable environment to multiply and breed , especially that its policies towards the Muslim world confirms that state terrorism practiced by the US that is unparalleled by anyone".

The statement recalled the announcement by President Omer Hassan al-Bashir on Tuesday on the government's desire to reach out to all rebel groups in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile for dialogue to attain peace.

Washington imposed economic and trade sanctions on Sudan in 1997 in response to its alleged connection to terror networks and human rights abuses. In 2007 it strengthened the embargo, citing abuses in Darfur which it labeled as genocide.

In 2010 however, the US announced it was easing sanctions on agriculture equipment and services which allowed half a dozen companies to obtain export licenses.

Sudan is also on the US list of states that sponsor terrorism since 1993 even though the two countries have strengthened their counterterrorism cooperation since September 2001 attacks on Washington and New York.

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