From South Sudan, a section of civil society is urging a review of the current US sanctions policy and its impact on free access to ICT. The group has reportedly launched a campaign targeted at local citizens and US policy makers.
The International Freedom of Expression Exchange Clearing House published a report explaining how the launch is the result of year-long negotiations with US-based civil society groups and the US State Department.
At the heart of the campaign is the appeal to US officials to review its sanctions policy in Sudan because of the negative impact this policy is alleged to have on access to ICT and the impact this is having on various sectors.
The report adds that whilst the US did announce a partial lifting of sanctions, related to educational exchange in early 2013, this development did not cover the personal use of information and communication technology.
Campaigners will use personal accounts of those who are said to have been affected by the policy.
Campaign co-ordinator Mohammed Hashim Kambal is quoted in the report as saying, “This is an appeal to empower Sudanese citizens through improved access to ICTs so that they can be more proactive on issues linked to democratic transformation, humanitarian assistance and technology education — an appeal to make the sanctions smarter.”
Chris Tredger – Online Editor