We are just one day away from a decision that could affect millions of lives in Sudan. Tomorrow, July 12, 2017, is the day that the United States will decide whether or not to lift sanctions on Sudan. The Sudanese Government has stated that they have met all requirements in the “five track” plan that was agreed upon in January. They believe that they have earned the right to have all sanctions lifted from their country. The real question is whether or not a lifting of sanctions will actually help the people of Sudan. As of now, the Sudanese government has not relieved the suffering of their own people, with continued attacks on the Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kardofan regions and massive restrictions on aid groups in certain areas. They are also still sponsoring rebel groups in South Sudan and the religious intolerance in the country has made millions of IDPs.
07/11/2017 Sudan(TheWashingtonPost)- Tom Catena is the only doctor permanently based in Sudan’s Nuba Mountains; he is the laureate of the 2017 Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity.
On most days, I don’t feel as though the daily debates or the deadlines set in Washington affect me much. Who’s up and who’s down, and who tweeted what at whom, just aren’t on my radar. But July 12 — the day by which the United States must decide whether to lift sanctions against the government of Sudan — is a day that I’ll be watching closely because it will affect me and the people I serve.
For the better part of the past 10 years, I’ve been the only doctor permanently based in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan. As the lone surgeon in the region, I help to run the only referral hospital that serves 750,000 citizens. Every day I treat an average of 500 patients with injuries and ailments ranging from malnutrition and tuberculosis and leprosy, to amputations and trauma — many of which are direct or indirect byproducts of the conflict.