National Congress Party regime in Khartoum plans to Circumvent U.S. economic Sanctions
By Mahmoud A. Suleiman
In the wake of nomination of a new US Presidential envoy to the two Sudans, news media disclosed the intention of the National Congress Party (NCP) regime to attempt to penetrate and circumvent the economic sanctions imposed by the United States of America (USA) and renewed annually since 1997 during President Bill Clinton Administration. The Undersecretary of the Sudanese Foreign Ministry said that the economic sanctions imposed on Sudan by the United States contain gaps (loopholes) that provide the opportunity for manipulation and tapping to boost the economy. He said pointing out to countries that even worse in relations with the United States than Sudan have been able to take advantage of other aspects and giving Iran as an example for that. Furthermore, Rahmatullah Mohamed Osman said in a seminar on the impact of U.S. economic sanctions on Sudan Wednesday 28 August 2013 that the American Foreign Ministry officials try to find excuses in meetings with the government of Sudan that they did not ask them to cooperate in areas where cooperation opportunities and dealing are available. The US economic sanctions against Sudan were made on the pretext that the then National Islamic Front (NIF housed terrorists. They included the leader of Al-Qaeda Osama Ben Laden, other Islamist groups and Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, (AKA Carlos the Jackal), a Venezuelan terrorist currently serving a life sentence in France for the 1975 murder of an informant for the French government and two French counter-intelligence agents. Moreover, the US economic sanctions on Sudan also relate to the status of governance arrangements in the Sudan and its cooperation with extremist groups undermines national security in the United States. On the other hand, the director of the Kenana company al-Ami al-Karib that the company has succeeded in contracting with the U.S. through irrigation Foundation Auvak and pointed to the existence of the hotline with Auvak Foundation for permits for U.S. companies to work in Sudan. Further, he added: “ But there are businessmen and others used the hotline to report the presence of prohibited U.S. goods in markets causing damage to a private company in Sudan through images sent by some quarters to the Auvak foundation.”
For the people of Sudan, there will be no beneficial effect from the lifting of the US economic sanctions against the (NCP) regime. On the contrary, any boost in the economy during the reign of Omer al-Bashir and his putschists utilise it for purchasing of more arsenals of weapons and warplanes for mass killing of Sudanese civilians and displacement of survivors in Darfur, South Kordofan, Blue Nile and elsewhere in the country.
The mass media learned that the U.S. President Barack Obama has named Ambassador Donald Booth on Wednesday 28 August 2013 as his special envoy to Sudan and South Sudan. Ambassador Booth described as a seasoned diplomat, with three decades of experience working on some of Africa’s most pressing challenges and was U.S. former Ambassador to Zambia and Liberia; and for Ethiopia from 2010 until July 2013.
The peoples of Sudan in Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan hope, while Ambassador Booth lead efforts to bring peaceful end to the conflicts in their localities, he focused on a holistic approach for a comprehensive resolutions to all the Sudan’s crises, avoiding the piecemeal peace processes his predecessors attempted but did not succeed and unpopular with the citizens. Former U. S. Presidential envoys to Sudan included John Danforth, Richard Williamson, Joseph Maington, Andrew Natsios and Jonathan Scott Gration, Preston Lehmann and Dan Smith. Those ‘peace’ processes have caused more suffering, loss of life, displacement, insecurity, instability and on-going intertribal fighting created by the NCP regime led by Omer Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir, ten years on. Recent clashes between tribes in Sudan resulted in the escape of thousands of families from their homes in Darfur, and in South and North Kordofan, which caused a new humanitarian catastrophe. The peoples of Sudan understand and take into account the importance of the interest of the U.S. Administration in this regard. Darfur armed rebel movements that participated in the Tanzanian city of Arusha consultations under the auspices of UNAMID demanded standardization of negotiating platform; includes all the components of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) beside the opposition political forces in order to reach a comprehensive solution to all issues of Sudan.
The U.S. and other countries that sponsor human rights work tirelessly for the prevention of torture. And at this time, a group of Prisoners Of War (POWs), prisoners of conscience and political detainees are languishing all types of systematic torture and inhumane treatment in the prisons of the government of Sudan. This state of affairs requires the Ambassador Booth to put it on his urgent agenda on his first visit to Khartoum. In spite of the local protests against the inhumane treatment to which the (POWs) subjected to, the prison authorities did not respond leading the prisoners to enter into a hunger strike for an indeterminate period as of August 26 2013 . The NCP government remains responsible for the safety and health of the prisoners, a policy is immoral to imprison and silence the voices of 13563 prisoners from Darfur alone in the prisons of the more than 15,000 prisoners in the prisons of the capital Khartoum as well as the rest of Sudan’s prisons.
The marginalised people of Sudan take the opportunity of the United States of America’s 50th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.- I Have A Dream Speech – August 28, which facilitated the emancipation and empowerment and freedom for the disenfranchised Americans, the then called ‘Negros’ in getting their Civil ‘Citizenship’ Rights. Accordingly, the marginalised in Sudan in Darfur look forward for freedom to reign and emancipation to prevail with the support of the United States of America and the help of the free world.
Unfortunate to the people of Sudan, that there are still voices from some international community quarters indicating that the NCP regime can change it self-form within; and for the armed rebel groups to wait see that happening. That is the kind of dream would not happen; NCP is so deformed to reform is the eternal statement of the late Dr. John Garang Mabior the credibility of which remains viable and proving true over the years. U.S. and the international community helped many nations to rid of tyrants and continued to do so in Mali in West Africa, in the Balkans in East Europe, in Libya in North Africa and planning ahead to do so in Syria in the Arab World. Why not so done in Darfur in Sudan where crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide committed and perpetrators remain at large? Is it that tier of ‘double standards ‘of the international community between its quick response to the so-called Arab Spring and the inaction towards the atrocities in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile?
The reasons for the issue of marginalisation in Sudan remain the quest of the NCP to remain in power at all cost. It gives no concern for what happens to the people. The vivid example of this is the total indifference displayed by the government during the disaster caused by the recent torrential rains and floods across the country causing loss of livelihood and shelter along with spread of diseases and exposure to famine. Worse, the ruling power in Sudan banned the Sudanese youth organisations that providing assistance to the disaster victims and threw some of them in prisons and detention centres on the pretext that they were doing unauthorized job!
Without overthrowing, by all the available means, the NCP autocratic and racist regime led by the clique of the Muslim Brotherhood, the people of Sudan cannot remove or disconnect the scourges caused to them. And at its demise to establish the democratic alternative approved by the people of Sudan compatible with the items contained in the document “Charter of the New Dawn” which the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) and its partners have adopted.
Dr. Mahmoud A. Suleiman is the Deputy Chairman of the General Congress for Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). He can be reached at email@example.com