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Don’t Let Sudan Off the Hook

The Atrocities Have Not Ended—Neither Should Sanctions

Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, November 7, 2007. Mike Hutchings / Reuters

On January 13, citing progress on a series of policy benchmarks, Washington eased sanctions on Sudan even though the atrocities that had originally prompted them—the bombing of civilians, raiding of villages, denial of food aid, and possible use of chemical weapons—remain a central part of Khartoum’s strategy against civilian populations in Darfur and other conflict-torn regions of Sudan. In the early part of 2016, for example, the government launched an offensive against the Sudan Liberation Movement–Abdel Wahid, which caused significant civilian casualties and displacement and led to a number of human rights violations such as arbitrary arrest, detention, and the torture of political actors.

And yet the international community’s treatment of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir today is a complete reversal from eight years ago, when the world was still reeling from the genocide in Darfur. Bashir was an international pariah back then. The International Criminal Court (ICC)

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