12 July 2017

Sudan: Rebels Welcome U.S. Extension of Sanctions Review Period

Photo: ONU/Hamid Abdulsalam
Displaced woman (file photo).

Darfur — Sudan's armed opposition movements have welcomed the decision by Washington last night to extend the review period for relief of economic sanctions until October 12, 2017.

In a statement to Radio Dabanga, Yasir Arman, Secretary-General of the Sudan Peoples' Liberation Movement - North (SPLM-N) appealed for more work to be done during this period.

"Today victims, human rights defenders, displaced persons, and those who are denied their right to humanitarian access among others will receive with joy President Trump's decision to extend the lifting of sanctions on Sudan and the demand from the Trump Administration to the Sudan government to improve on humanitarian access, to maintain the bilateral cessation of hostilities, and improving Sudan's human rights and religious freedom in particular among other issues," Arman's statement reads.

"It is our conviction that lifting sanctions on Sudan should be organically linked to a programme of realising a just peace and democratic transformation in Sudan. Democratic transformation is the only means to put an end to terrorism, to address the immigration issue amicably, and for Sudan to be friendly with itself and its surrounding neighbours and the international community. We had hoped that the period would be extended for a longer time to ensure the compliance of the Sudan government. Nevertheless, there is a lot of work that needs to be done by all those who are concerned about the humanitarian and human rights situations in Sudan, just peace and democratisation."

'New chance'

Arman emphasises that "the SPLM-N is ready to engage on addressing the humanitarian situation as well as we are asking for a new political process that will ensure peace and democratisation after the Sudan government had destroyed the AUHIP Roadmap and left us with no options for political settlement."

Arman's statement concludes that "the Sudanese people should get the change, transformation, and democratisation they long deserve. We call upon the opposition to unite their rank and file, starting with our own self in the SPLM-N, so as to respond to this situation effectively.

SLM-MM

Arko Minni Minawi, the Chairman of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-MM) also welcomes the US decision and calls for linking the lifting of sanctions to achievement of peace and democratisation.

"The Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) has been following the desperate attempts of the NCP Regime to have the sanctions lifted... Still there has been no tangible change on the ground that justifies lifting of the sanctions. The humanitarian situation is getting worse due to the ongoing war in Darfur and the two Areas and a large number of innocent citizens including political leaders, civil society figures are facing true and imprisonment on daily basis," Minni Minawi's statement reads.

"On humanitarian level, the camps receiving increasing numbers of those displaced by the brutality of the Regime and its militias in Darfur and the situation has become more critical because the absence of UNAIDs role in protecting civilians, lack of basic necessities of life and reluctance of NCP Regime to any cession of hostilities for humanitarian purpose.

'Fake dialogue'

"Politically, Sudan has reached a deadlock after the so called National Dialogue which specifically designed to deceive the International Community in order to lift the sanctions imposed on Khartoum since a long time. This is true as there was no actual dialogue happened between the parties to the dispute in Sudan, but it was between the components of the Islamic Movement and the pro-Islamic groups. The real opposition forces, in particular the armed forces and political parties were not involved in that fake dialogue. The Regime also made every possible effort to avoid the peace process of the Road Map that presented by the mechanism of the AU for a comprehensive peace in Sudan.

"On security level, the war still going on fiercely in Darfur, Nuba Mountain and Blue Nile. The SLM have engaged in fierce battles against the government forces and it's militia in Darfur just a month ago, in response to the attacks of the NCP Regime at SLM strongholds and Jebel Marra also witnessed a war with banned weapons.

"In light of the current critical, political, security and humanitarian situation, the Sudan Liberation Movement welcomes the step taken by the Trump administration to extend the sanctions on the NCP Regime in Khartoum. The SLM also seizes this opportunity to call on the US Administration to keep the lifting of the sanctions in association with genuine progress of peace and Security achievement in Darfur and the two Areas and democratization in Sudan."

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