An upside to the president's postponement

Monday, July 17, 2017
 | 
Bill Bumpas (OneNewsNow.com)

SudanA spokesman for a persecution watchdog organization sees both good and bad in President Trump's postponing for another three months a decision on whether to lift U.S. sanctions on Sudan.

Isaac Six, advocacy director for International Christian Concern (ICC), tells OneNewsNow the good news is that a decision was not made to permanently lift sanctions -- something the Sudanese government has been pushing for very strongly in recent months. But at the same time, Six is disappointed because his organization was hoping for a definitive decision allowing the sanctions to remain in place.

He does not believe there have been improvements in the areas of human rights and religious freedom.

"We're talking about a country that has already completely restricted the building of new churches," he points out. "They argue there's not really any Christians here anyway, so you don't need new churches. And now they're working on destroying the few churches that remain and forcing Christians in Sudan to go underground."

Six says the U.S. needs to be given access to monitor the situation.

"Sudan is very restrictive. They don't allow U.S. officials into the Nuba Mountain area, for instance, and other areas, so we can't really monitor and tell what's going on there without being allowed in," the advocacy director reports. "So I think we really need to hold off on relieving these sanctions until we know there's actually been improvements and not just take at face value whatever the Sudanese government is telling us."

In the next three months, Six hopes ICC can continue to convince members of Congress and the Trump administration to carefully review the situation before permanently relieving sanctions on Sudan.

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