(New York)- Today’s US announcement imposing economic sanctions against Sudanese government-controlled companies and certain individuals is welcome but long overdue, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch urged the United Nations Security Council and the European Union to immediately impose similar sanctions against Sudan.

Human Rights Watch said that the UN and EU sanctions should include not only travel bans and asset freezes on individuals, but also significant economic sanctions on companies affiliated with the Sudanese government.

“Individual sanctions should not be limited to mid-level government officials but should certainly include senior Khartoum policymakers,” said Peter Takirambudde, Africa director of Human Rights Watch. “The Security Council has in the past failed to impose meaningful sanctions on senior Sudanese leaders, who should no longer be exempt from scrutiny.”

While welcoming the US steps to impose economic sanctions against 31 additional companies associated with the Khartoum government, Human Rights Watch also called on the European Union, following the G-8 meeting next week, to adopt similar economic sanctions unless Sudan has consented to the full “hybrid” force authorized by the Security Council and the African Union for Darfur.

“In recent months, EU leaders have pledged to halt further human rights abuses in Darfur,” said Takirambudde. “Concerted multilateral action is urgently needed to compel the Sudanese government to end its abusive polices in Darfur and accept the immediate deployment of the full AU-UN protection force.”