Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission hearing today: Enough’s Omer Ismail Tells Congress: Keep Up Pressure on Sudan’s Corrupt Elite

Date: 
Apr 4, 2017

 

Washington, D.C. –  In testimony before Congress today, the Enough Project’s Omer Ismail called for renewed U.S. sanctions and anti-money laundering measures targeting Sudan’s corrupt elite.

Testifying before the U.S. Congress’ Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission hearing on “Sudan: Human Rights and Sanctions,” Ismail said that the Obama administration’s easing of sanctions in January this year undermines U.S. foreign policy objectives, giving away the sole point of U.S. leverage on Sudan in exchange for uncertain short-term counterterrorism gains.

In his statements to the Commission, Omer Ismail, Senior Analyst at the Enough Project, said, “War, repression, human rights violations, and dictatorship have continued in the months since the Sudanese government’s supposed “positive actions” that justify the sanctions easing first began.”

Ismail added, “The leadership of Congress is essential for anti-money laundering measures and modernized sanctions and it will bring new U.S. leverage with a regime that is not otherwise interested in ending war, protecting human rights, and building an inclusive, representative government.”

Ismail testified alongside Ken Isaacs of Samaritan’s Purse, Miles Windsor of Middle East Concern, and Jehanne Henry of Human Rights Watch. 

Key recommendations for Congress from Ismail’s testimony:

  1. Support efforts to revoke the executive order from January that eases U.S. sanctions.
     
  2. Push forward legislation that utilizes the policy tools of financial leverage and more robust diplomatic engagement in support of peace, counter-terrorism, religious freedom, and anti-corruption objectives. This legislation would include a modernized sanctions program that targets the assets of those in Sudan who are most responsible for atrocities, serious human rights violations, and grand corruption while minimizing bank de-risking and other adverse impacts on others.
     
  3. Ensure U.S. government agencies that conduct the investigations and enforcement of U.S. sanctions and anti-money laundering programs have the resources they need and the political direction to work on Sudan through the FY 2018 appropriations process.
     
  4. Press the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to more aggressively counter money laundering that involves members of the Sudanese regime and their corporate network by requesting under Section 314(a) of the USA Patriot Act that financial institutions report on transactions that may have involved the Sudanese regime.
     
  5. Urge the Trump administration to utilize the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, which became law at the end of last year as another tool that can be used to place sanctions on corrupt Sudanese officials.

Click here to read details on the recommendations and the full testimony of Omer Ismail: http://eno.ug/2ov56ct

Hearing video: https://humanrightscommission.house.gov/events/hearings/sudan-human-rights-and-sanctions

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact: Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606gh@enoughproject.org.

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT
The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention research and policy non-profit organization, builds leverage for peace, human rights in Africa’s deadliest conflict zones by working to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough, and its investigative partner The Sentry, aims to counter armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of ivory, gold, diamonds, conflict minerals, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org.