On Friday Oct. 6, the Trump administration decided to lift economic sanctions on the genocidal regime in Sudan citing, “the Government of Sudan’s sustained positive actions to maintain a cessation of hostilities in conflict areas in Sudan, improve humanitarian access throughout Sudan, and maintain cooperation with the United States on addressing regional conflicts and the threat of terrorism.”
Despite this rationale, the fact remains that Sudan is still led by President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court on crimes of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity for alleged crimes committed in Darfur. Jewish World Watch was founded in response to the genocide in Darfur, and has continued to work with Darfuri refugees who were forced to flee their homes over 13 years ago, most of whom are still displaced because Darfur is not at peace. Over the years, JWW has continued to advocate for peace in Sudan as conflict spread from Darfur to South Kordofan and Blue Nile.
The decision to lift sanctions on Sudan was initially put in motion by President Obama when, during his last week in office, he issued an Executive Order calling for the lifting of sanctions by July 2017. The Trump administration inherited this policy, and postponed making a decision on sanctions relief from July to October. Last week, the State Department announced its decision to lift the sanctions.
While we recognize that blanket sanctions on the country of Sudan have not yielded tangible results in reforming the practices of the Sudanese government, Jewish World Watch does not believe that a complete lifting of economic sanctions is a wise policy. The decision by the United States sends the wrong message to any world leaders who are currently committing atrocities against their own people, or may commit atrocities in the future.
We will have to wait to see if this shift in decades-old policy towards Sudan will result in a more peaceful and open Sudanese society, but as long as the country is led by génocidaires, that is unlikely. We will continue to work with our partners to monitor the situation on-the-ground and report on atrocities committed by the government. We will continue to advocate for a peaceful Sudan, one in which human rights are respected and people are able to live their lives free from fear.
Jewish World Watch is proud to partner with the Darfur Women Action Group for their 6th Annual National Symposium on Women & Genocide in the 21st Century: The Case of Darfur which will be held October 28-30th in Washington, DC. Hear from experts in the field of genocide and mass atrocities prevention—including our Director of Advocacy and Programs, Mike Brand—and join us for a lobby day on Capitol Hill.
For more information and to register visit: http://www.darfurwomenaction.org/projects/symposium-2017