September 15, 2016,
The hashtag #SudanUnderSanction began trending recently when young Sudanese took to Twitter to share the adverse impacts of life under US sanctions.
First imposed in 1993, and massively expanded in 1997, the sanctions have severely hit the country’s economy and health care system. International support for sanctions increased after Sudan began carrying out a military campaign in Darfur, which has led to the killings of up to 300,000 people and the displacement of more than 2.5 million since 2003.
But now the blockade is coming under question. Even with exceptions for medicine and other humanitarian goods, critics say the sanctions are too sweeping and cumbersome for ordinary citizens to get the supplies they need. Idriss Jazairy, the UN Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights, recently said the sanctions’ “full impact is on innocent citizens,” without hurting “officials or any elite group.”
On tonight’s episode of The Stream, we’ll hear from proponents and opponents of the sanctions, and explore the broader issue of how Western-led blockades impact civilians living under the governments they ostensibly target.