Editor’s Note: This blog post was written by Enough Project Intern Adam Finestone.
On Thursday, April 28, 2016, the Enough Project held a panel discussion in the Rayburn Building on Capitol Hill focused on Sudan and the sanctions debate surrounding that country’s ruling regime. The event, “A New Approach to Sudan,” featured a number of speakers from various backgrounds in both the government and non-government sectors.
The speakers included; John Prendergast, Omer Ismail, Brad Brooks-Rubin and John Hursh from the Enough Project, Peter Harrell from the Center for New American Security. Yaya J. Fanusie from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and Andrea Prasow from Human Rights Watch. Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Ed Royce (R-CA), Co-Chairs of the Sudan/South Sudan Caucus Representatives Michael Capuano (D-MA), Tom Rooney (R-FL), and Co-Chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission Representative Jim McGovern (D-MA) were all invited special guests. Representatives Capuano and McGovern made remarks at the event, offering their support for the Sudanese people and reiterating their stance on Khartoum’s regime, as well as the struggle to end the numerous conflicts currently devastating Sudan.
Watch the full video here to see the panelists’ presentations and Q&A session with the audience:
The catalyst behind the event was the recent release of a report titled Modernized Sanctions for Sudan: Unfinished Business for the Obama Administration that was written by Enough Project’s Founding Director John Prendergast and Director of Policy Brad Brooks-Rubin. The objective of the report is to push President Obama and his Administration, which is in its last year in office, to take a tougher stance on Sudan by modernizing the sanctions regime in Sudan to reflect new tools and best practices that have seen success in places like Iran.
The speakers on the panel discussed a number of reasons why tougher sanctions are needed in Sudan by citing human rights abuses and criminal activities being carried out by Khartoum against its own people. Critical insights were given by the panelists on how the US government should move forward in its dealings with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. Panelists were in agreement on how a modernizing of the sanctions regime could be a key to reshaping leverage the international community has in Sudan – allowing for a crucial leap forward in supporting an end to the conflict and providing necessary relief to the Sudanese people.