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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