Unilateral coercive measures undermine human rights

Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir

Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir

Hamdan W. Dldoom Correspondent
The Universal Declaration on Humanitarian Rights, UDHR, that was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on the 10th December 1948, is the first global expression of rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled.

It was a move motivated by the experiences of the preceding world wars. It was premier that countries agreed on comprehensive statement of inalienable human rights. The International Bill of human Rights consists of the UDHR, the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). The idea of promulgating an International Bill of Rights was considered basically implicit in the Charter. These Bills of basic human rights have entered into force since 1976 and are known collectively as the International Bill of Rights.

The UNGA adopted the UDHR by consensus, therefore represents a very strong commitment by states to its implementation whereas the other two covenants are legally binding to the state parties. Most of the African Union members if not all are parties to the declaration and the other two covenants.

The declaration emphasises that everyone has duties towards and within the community and encourages us all to be human rights defenders and bear the responsibilities to promote and safeguard democracy and its institutions without violation of human rights of others.

The union has also consolidated its position by adopting major African legal instrument which is the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights. It is an instrument intended to promote and protect human rights and basic freedoms in the African Continent, its oversight and interpretation is the task of African Commission.

By doing so the union laid the legal basis for the member states to foster the spirit of African solidarity and cooperation.

Consequently member states can call on others and solicit the necessary support whenever they experienced a huge problem or obstacle that goes beyond its capabilities or efforts it could exert.

It would be quite challenging for the union to discharge its obligations with regard to the people’s basic rights and adequately implement the Agenda 2063 which will realise the Africa that we aspire while some of the members are under duress and tied handed to take any necessary measures that will enhance the basic human rights of their respective peoples.

The Sudan remains focused on attaining the basic rights to its people, will never hesitate to spare any possible efforts which would enable it and the other brotherly countries experiencing the same situation to overcome the worst ever of the 21st century catastrophes rather than the illegal Unilateral Coercive Measures (UCM) that cause, devastating effects to the community, bear its brunt the most vulnerables.

In this regard the Sudanese Minister of Justice in his capacity as the custodian of the basic rights of the people has declared the Sudan call0s for the recovery of its peoples’ rights, guaranteed by the international covenants, however, have been pillaged by the UCM.

Unequivocally the Sudan calls on African countries and in particular those who are experiencing the illegal UCM to raise the awareness of its population on these rights on the occasion of its 50th anniversary.

The Sudan has been under unilateral coercive measures for more than two decades without any adaptation to the sustainable evolution of internal context, they have adverse impact on the enjoyment of human rights. The signal given by the compulsory measures is in contradiction with the proclaimed objectives.

Sanctions do not differentiate between the clusters of the community be it elites or ordinary individuals, their full impact is on innocent population and thus contribute to social stratification, internal regional disparities and the broadening of the black market as well as to the loss of control over financial transfers.

The significant adverse impact of the UCM in Sudan are clearly visible in the health sector for instance and there are clear evidences that the UCM led to the dysfunction in the economy, social and educational areas and the overall internal situation, therefore it would be logical to claim our guaranteed rights by the International Covenants.

The Sudan also calls on those countries which commit such illegal practices to refrain from pursuing such exercises that do not differentiate between the victim and the offender if any, in this case. Compensation to those who are enduring the unlawfully devastating effects is a case in point. It is the global responsibility of those who are conscience vigilant to put their heads together to prevent such damaging practices.

The sanctions have also crippled the efforts of the Sudan in the international and regional fora by the incapacitation on account of failing to fulfil its obligations and the relevant contributions while the UCM prohibits its remittances through the international banking system as usual.

The illegality of the controversial UCM is gaining momentum globally because of their negative outcomes. They create cracks in the targeted communities, making it difficult for them to achieve the national harmony, the most important requirement for the internal peaceful co-existence. The internal harmony leads to the reunification of different communities and increases the pace of international convergence. Let us work for convergence not for divergence.

The UCM, in absence of the UNSC resolution, like measures imposed on Sudan, Zimbabwe and some other countries, serve as an instrument of foreign policy of some Western countries.

However, they do not “go it alone”, but in collaboration with others, probably the regional bodies. Likewise the process towards lifting the sanctions should be the area of co-operation and collaboration.

From January 23-31 2016 the seat of the union is hosting the 26th AU Summit under the motto “2016: African Year of Human Rights with Particular Focus on the Rights of Women”.

It is quite evident the summit is going to address the cause of half of African society which is part of the sector of the vulnerables. It is the right time to the union to express loudly the spirit of the solidarity that enabled its predecessor the OAU to get rid of the colonisation and the discriminatory behaviour as well.

The union is endowed with elements of strength and vigour that will put it at par with some of these gatherings who do not like to see any progress which could enable it to make use of its abundant natural resources and rely on itself. The best of these elements is the solidarity which we have had at the time of the liberation wars across the continent materialised in the total eradication of hateful regimes.

  • The writer is the Sudanese Ambassador to Zimbabwe
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