Sanctions on Sudan from the United States

So, I’m watching the Al-Jazeera Arabic channel and find myself shocked to hear for the first time, that the U.S.  has sanctions over Sudanese technology. Naturally, I turned to Google to see if the rest of the world was aware of this. I came across Amanda Sperber’s article from Jan. 2014. WHAT? This has been going on for more than a year! ‘Lo and behold, after some more cyber-digging, I saw I was way off.

Sanctions have been upheld since the 1970s. Guys, that’s 45 years, give or take.

In Sudan, going online only yields a slew of inaccessible pages (credit: UNAMID Photo/flickr)
In Sudan, going online only yields a slew of inaccessible pages (credit: UNAMID Photo/flickr)

From what I’ve heard here in the States, the common standing on blocked sites and programs are primarily the result of Communist government decisions like those China. Yet, here it is happening in a country like Sudan that is not communist, fascist, or any of the like (well, not to my knowledge, anyway). It makes you question what reasons the U.S. might have to blockade resources from Sudan’s students and general populous. Granted, there are what our politically-correct society refers to as “fanatics” in every country, race, religion, and sect. (which, clearly, need to be recognized and stopped). With that said, this should not have to impact the entire general populace, particularly the youth! Students in Sudan are being held back by these technological blockades. Sperber’s piece on TechPresident shows this is exactly the case for then 20, now 21-year-old Afnan Kheir:

“‘The sanctions in Sudan affected my graduation project and were a great obstacle in my graduation’, Kheir said. Now, luckily our young Sudanese student was able to graduate from the Sudan University of Science and Technology even with her project at stake.”

If the big issue is to defend against the mere possibility of giving access to technology to possible fanatics in Sudan, or even if it’s just because of political upsets (see U.S.-Sudan Relations), what options does this leave for generations to come? Is this really the best long-term, or even short-term solution to a problem that’s, let’s face it, not even ours? Surely, fostering growth and technological advancement and lending support to the younger generation of Sudan would in turn help foster better U.S.-Sudani Relations rather than to stunt any hope for a positive, intelligent future, much less any future.

So, that’s my 2-cents, and then some. Stay savvy.



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