UN Special Rapporteur Idriss Jazairy recommended on Monday to set a timeframe to lift the US sanctions imposed on Sudan. The official is tasked with looking at the negative impact of the unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights. He explained that the sanctions have had a “negative effect” on all vital areas and “imposed a suffocating blockade” on the country’s economy.
Speaking at a press conference at the conclusion of an eight-day visit to Sudan, he pointed out that government organs and civil society organisations that he met in Khartoum are agreed on the need for the US sanctions to be lifted, or at least reconsidered.
“It was proven that the sanctions didn’t negatively impact on government officials or a particular elite class,” Jazairy pointed out, “but they have affected innocent citizens and deepened inequality among Sudanese classes and between regions due to income variations.”
The fining of three banks which had commercial dealings with Sudan has led to a crippling blockade of the Sudanese financial sector since 2013, due to stopping foreign banking transactions at a time when the domestic situation was improving. “The impact of sanctions has exacerbated more after three European banks, including Crédit Agricole, BNP Paris Bas and Commerz Bank were fined by the source state, the US,” he told the media.
Several areas have been specifically hit by the sanctions. The health sector in particular has been damaged as a result of the inability to obtain spare parts for medical equipment as well as the ban on medicines. “Other sectors hit include development, drinking water, employment and education.”
The UN official made a number of preliminary recommendations in this regard, including activating exemptions made by the source state on Gum Arabic, software and communications devices, as well as vital medicines and lifting the ban on financial transactions to import and export those products.
He also called for lifting sanctions on the remittances of Sudanese expatriates in order to comply with the decision of the source state to lift Sudan’s name from the list of states monitored by the Financial Action Task Force.
“If this measure can’t be taken in the short-run,” Jazairy added, “an alternative solution could be found by establishing a temporary mechanism belonging to the UN and with the approval of Sudan and the source state to secure the transfer of funds for the vital supplies in the various sectors mentioned.”