REPORT OF THE SECRETARY GENERAL
“U. S. DECISION TO IMPOSE UNILATERAL ECONOMIC SANCTIONS AGAINST SUDAN”
TO THE TWENTY-SIXTH SESSION OF THE ISLAMIC CONFERENCE OF FOREIGN MINISTERS
OUAGADOUGOU – BURKINA FASO, 28 JUNE – 1 JULY 1999
On November 3, 1997, the USA adopted a decision to impose an all out embargo on commercial and financial interaction with Sudan. The decision involves freezing Sudanese assets and properties in the USA; non importation or exportation of commodities or technology between the two countries; setting an embargo on US loans to Sudan as well as bank financing for the transport to transit goods. This may be construed as severance of economic relations between the two countries (Text of the decision attached).
2. In adopting its decision, the USA used as a pretext allegations on continuation by the Sudan Government to support terrorism, threaten neighbouring States, wage a civil war against its citizens in Southern Sudan, violate religious freedoms and repairing from taking measures to prevent alleged slavery in the Sudan.
3. The U.S. decision on economic boycott of the Sudan was not surprising, but was rather expected in the context of US pressure policies, especially following the failure of attempts to escalate collective sanctions against the Sudan through the Security Council, and judging from the US regard of Sudan’s welcome of investigation into allegations raised by Washington to justify the imposition of these sanctions.
4. The tempo of US hostility towards the Sudan kept rising which confirms the fact that its main objective is to destabilise the Sudan in the framework of a bigger design to lay siege and weaken the Islamic Ummah. The USA has previously undertaken the following measures against the Sudan:
- Since 1990 the US government has stopped all credits it used to extend to the Sudan.
- On 18 August 1993, the US government decided to include the Sudan in the list of what it describes as states sponsoring international terrorism.
- The US decision followed a series of US pressure policies, decisions and practices which also affected other Islamic States, such as the Islamic Republic of Iran and the libyan Jamahiriya. The policy of imposing sanctions against States and peoples has become an essential feature of US policy through which it seeks to undermine the freedom, sovereignty and honour of these states in order to weaken them and force them to bow down.
- On 11 June 1997, the US congress adopted a decision to abolish any exception that allows the Sudan to trade or transfer funds between the latter and the USA.
5. The Government of the Sudan is of the view that the real reason behind the current US hostile policy towards the Sudan is the latter’s upholding the independence of its political and sovereignty decision, and its option of the Islamic way as the course of the Islamic Ummah and a system for both rule and life; and also the success of the policy of the Sudanese government to address the current problems of the Sudan, foremost among which is the war in Southern Sudan, through direct negotiation with the parties to the conflict. In this context success has been achieved through the signing of the Khartoum and Fashoda peace agreements in 1997 with same rebellious factions.
There is further confirmation of this in the concurrence of the US decision on economic sanctions with a crucial negotiation session in Nairobi in 1997 under IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on Development), whose conclusions affirmed the serious resolve of the Sudanese government to achieve peace through negotiations and response to the initiatives of States and organisations. The US decision is a real expression of a negative stance that rejects the realisation of peace and stability in the Sudan despite the outward US appearances of interest in peace.
6. US policy has proved its naked partially towards the rebellions movement in Southern Sudan. It has continued, fully clearly, to extend material and moral support to the movement and to instigate for the downfall of the legitimate government. The meeting which took place in 1997 between the US Secretary of State and the leaders of the opposition, and its call on the latter to unify their ranks in order to topple the government in Khartoum, by all means, including military action, is the most genuine proof that the USA is targeting the unity and stability of the Sudan.
7. The US decision aims at tightening the blockade against a member state of the UN, OAU, OIC, and Arab League …etc, without any justification except for using pressure to compel to give up its sovereignty and independence, in clear and obvious contravention of the spirit and principles of the charters of these organisations, because US aim behind the imposition of economic sanctions and political pressure is to topple the Sudanese government.
8. The economic impacts of these sanctions are as follows:
- Ceasing economic cooperation and commodity assistance as well as decreasing imports/exports between the two countries.
- Freezing government assets.
- As the US dollar is considered the major currency in international trading (80% of world trade is conducted through the US dollar), the application of this decision has resulted in a bigger financial cost for the Sudan when dealing with other currencies.
- US made equipment, in agricultural projects, sugar factories, electricity generating plants, railways, Boeing and Airbus planes, have been affected.
- The USA has approached other states, with similar stance to Washington’s, urging them to take similar economic measures.
This polarization may include states with which the Sudan interacts in the context of important economic and developmental projects, but which have bigger interests with the USA. The decision aims, in particular to shake confidence in the Sudanese economy and interrupt investments, especially in the field of oil.
9. Sudan rejects the principle and policy of imposition of sanctions as they negatively affect peoples before they affect governments. Furthermore, it is an uncivilized method in a world of interlinking interests and proliferating means, where peace should prevail in all aspects of international relations, and where equality, panty and common interests should be the essential criterion for relations and international between states, big and small.
10. The method of unilateral sanctions doe snot target Sudan only but is against Islamic and Arab security. It also targets food security and the derailing of development and causing instability. Furthermore, it constitutes a direct threat to Islamic states, the impact of which may extend to all Muslims of the world if it is condemned and resisted by the Islamic world. The Sudan has confidence that the OIL, recognising the reality of the great danger behind the policy of imposing unilateral sanctions, recently followed by the USA, will pay due attention to the issue by requesting the USA to abolish these sanctions due to their negative impact on peoples, and calling on Washington to fulfil its obligation towards the realisation of international security and peace.
11. The Sudan while recalling resolution No. 42/8-P (IS) of the Tehran Islamic Summit and Resolution No. 43/25-P of the 25th ICFM as well as UN General Assembly Resolution No. 22/51 of 27 November 1997, inviting the international community to take urgent and effective steps to put an end to coercive economic laws, and expressing the General Assembly’s profound concern over recently enacted and extra-territorial economic laws which contravene the rules of international law and the aims and objectives of the United Nations which confirm the inalienable right of each and every state to socio-economic development, and to select its political, economic and social system which it deems more appropriate for the welfare of its people and n accordance with national plans and policy.
12. While also recalling UN General Assembly Resolution No. 17/51 on the necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the USA against Cuba, and in which the General Assembly expressed concern over the action of some UN Member States to enact laws aimed at strengthening and expanding the economic embargo.
13. While confirming the principles of OIC Charter which call for strengthening solidarity among member states and given expression in Resolution No. 15/24-P of the 24th ICFM on Solidarity with the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Great Socialist People’s libyan Arab Jamahiriya on the D’Amato Law.
14. The Sudan hopes that the OIL shall pay meaningful attention to the policy of imposition of unilateral sanctions by urging the Member States to reject the US decision and seek to have it rescinded. The Sudan also calls on the OIL to cooperate and coordinate with regional and international organisations to compel the USA to abolish this decision, and to take appropriate measures to alleviate its harmful impact and remove its burden on the Islamic States, proceeding from the spirit of Islamic Solidarity and brotherhood.