Lifting Sanctions Rewards Sudan’s Genocidal Regime and Stains US History 


Roksana Verahrami
Marketing & Communications


WASHINGTON, DC – Ending the economic embargo on Sudan will embolden the criminals and enable genocide in Darfur, according to Darfur Women Action Group’s President Niemat Ahmadi.

We are incredibly dismayed over the United States’ decision to permanently lift most sanctions on Sudan, including the economic embargo, under the pretext of promoting reforms. The Trump administration has followed the footsteps of President Obama and lifted sanctions, effectively rewarding a genocidal regime.

The United States first authorized sanctions on Sudan in the 1990s, when Sudan was assisting and providing a haven for terrorists including Osama Bin Laden. In 1997 and 2006, the United States slapped Sudan with additional trade and economic embargos due to the brutal genocidal campaign against innocent civilians in Darfur. Furthermore, since 2009, President al-Bashir has been indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on multiple counts of the world’s worst crimes-genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity committed in Darfur.

The slaughter and violence continue in Darfur today and has spread to other areas, including South Kordofan and the Blue Nile. Instead of promoting peace, the regime has galvanized its militiamen and security forces in a bloody crackdown on the indigenous African population in Sudan. The government has systematically killed men, raped women, attacked students and media members, destroyed food and water, and forced people to flee their land.

In addition to the crimes committed against innocent civilians, the Sudanese government has begun to promote a false narrative about Darfur, citing that violence is much reduced. It is worrisome that the international community has started to believe the propaganda fueled lies perpetuated by a murderous regime, which first resulted in the slashing of the United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) and has now led to the easing of sanctions.

Violence in Darfur continues at an alarming pace, however. Just two weeks ago, President al-Bashir’s forces attacked and killed at least 20 people in Darfur and injured several others.  As recently as 2016, there were allegations brought by credible sources, such as Amnesty International of the use of chemical weapons against a civilian population in Darfur.

The United States will maintain sanctions against individuals with arrest warrants related to atrocities in Darfur. However, this does not give the US enough leverage to compel al-Bashir to stop violent attacks, to allow unhindered humanitarian access, to disarm the Janjaweed militias, and to achieve lasting peace, especially while the country is led by a genocidal criminal.

The world looks up to the United States to provide leadership and to defend human rights, hold responsible governments that brutally massacre their people. But instead, the United States has decided to normalize and reward genocide by lifting most sanctions on Sudan. This historical error will not only embolden al-Bashir but will also inhibit around the world that the United States will turn a blind eye to those committing grievous crimes against humanity.

Lifting the economic embargo will not help the people of Sudan nor will it change the heart of murderous President al-Bashir; lifting the economic embargo will only serve to enable the slaughter of thousands of innocents by increasing their access to m re financial resources.

If those with power chose to side with evil, we would not follow them or stand idly by. We will continue to fight for the people of Darfur and Sudan at large until justice is served, the perpetrators are held responsible, and lasting peace is achieved.