In November 4, 2015, the sanctions on Sudan was renewed to another year which has provoked me to write this blog. I don’t belong to any political party in Sudan and I actually hate politics but unfortunately this sanctions were politically motivated.
I was 15 years old when Bill Clinton Administration issued executive order 13067, which imposed comprehensive economic sanctions on Sudan in November 3, 1997. Before imposing of trade embargo on Sudan, the relationship between two countries was and still is turbulent. Sudan itself since its independence has not enjoyed stability yet. This instability has further exacerbated by U.S sanctions both economically and politically.
The purpose of the U.S sanctions according to my own point of view is to isolate Sudan economy from the world trade which will ultimate force the government to change its policies and reform its institutions and laws especially the human rights laws.
As an ordinary Sudanese citizen coming from a middle income family, I had to bear the negatives side effects of the U.S sanctions and not the government indeed as it was initially planned.
I will try to explain the impact of these sanctions on education, health and infrastructure on me as a Sudanese citizen. However, if you want to have a comprehensive understanding of two countries relationships, and why economic sanctions were imposed on Sudan, please read this paper which was published by Middle East Studies Student Association, Georgetown University – Qatar.
As a Sudanese I am not allowed to take some of internationally accredit certificates such Project Management Professional and cisco certificates in Sudan, however, in order to obtain these certificates, I have to travel to another county for example Egypt or United Arabs Emirates which mean I have to pay for my flight tickets and accommodation which is very expensive.
Medical equipment such as HIV/AIDS device that can help doctors to determine the new born baby’s HIV/AIDS status is not allowed to be imported to Sudan, in another words, the child has to wait until he/she reaches 18 months to diagnose his/her HIV/AIDS status. This is just one example, I am sure there are a long list of medical equipment that are banned from Sudan.
The longest railway in Africa which used to be in Sudan, now is almost out of services due to U.S sanctions as all spare parts have to be imported from U.S and other Western countries. Same is applicable to Sudan Airways – a lot of air crashes happened to Sudan Airways and hundreds of people have been killed because of poor maintenance and lack of spare parts which again caused by U.S sanctions.
Surprisingly, United States Agency for Development (USAID) is one of biggest donors to Sudan, even my fellowship is sponsored by office of special envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, so, thank you. but personally I don’t believe in humanitarian assistance very much rather than I do believe in building and strengthening the institutions of the government to effectively play their role towards their citizen and this can’t happen without cooperation between two governments.
President Obama the other day said the sanctions on Cuba which has been imposed for almost 50 years was not effective, the time has come to try a new policy, president Obama said. So, I hope these sanctions will be removed from Sudan as the reasons behind it is no longer existed as the former Envoy to Sudan, General J. Scott Gration, stated in a congressional hearing in 2009 that not only should U.S economic sanctions on Sudan be abolished, but also that Sudan’s placement on the U.S State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism is baseless. Gration argues that there is no tangible evidence of Sudan’s alleged active involvement in terrorism, and that the country’s designation as a sponsor is purely political.
I hope my son doesn’t have to experience what his Dad has experienced, I hope he will enjoy full access to the latest technologies in different sectors including computer sciences and medical equipment and he can travel the world safely by Sudan Airways which was one of the best airlines in Africa.