U.S. inaction hinders the revolution in Sudan

Thousands of Sudanese demonstrators took to the streets in late June, seeking to "correct the way to this revolution." Last year, their continuous protest against corruption and violent rule attracted worldwide attention and deprived the strongman Omar al-Bashir of the power. Those exciting days were accompanied by great optimism, but the transitional reforms since then have progressed slowly, and members of the old guard are waiting in the shadows, looking for opportunities to reiterate themselves. At the same time, the economic crisis that triggered the people's revolution continues until the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is now more serious.

In September last year, Sudanese protesters, civil society groups, political parties, and Sudan’s security agencies established a transitional government. These disturbed compatriots are led by the Prime Minister of the Civil Affairs Abdalla Hamdok (Abdalla Hamdok) and supervised by a "sovereign committee" composed of civilians and powerful military figures. The task is to implement comprehensive reforms and guide the country toward Democratic elections in 2022. Early steps from disbanding rogue security agencies to opening up space for civil society and independent journalism. But since then, the revolution has stagnated, and today an overly familiar narrative prevails: the camera keeps advancing, but the hard work of consolidating the constitutional rules still exists.

The Sudanese citizens who flocked to the streets last month knew that they were the engine of change, but their goals could not be achieved-political spoilers, corrupt interests and foreign businessmen could not be realized and restricted-without external support. The same is true for Hamdok: Turning things around will require him to insist on greater control of the transition and the country, and he needs all the help he can get. The United States and other partners can help balance his interests-away from security agencies-but so far they have not given him the best chance of success.

In the past three decades, Republicans and Democrats have expressed that they have attracted special attention from both parties in Sudan and have inspired the hope of a more democratic future for troubled citizens. With this prospect, the United States should lead efforts to rejuvenate the economy, support the democratic transition, and end the country’s international isolation. But not only has Washington done little to help Sudan’s new leader seize the opportunity, but inaction is threatening to undermine their once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

The Stakes

U.S. Sudan’s interests in Sudan are beyond the scope of humanitarianism. Although the country is far from a geostrategic priority, the consequences of the country’s failure to transition cannot be understated. China and Russia are the goals of a global free and open society, and American rivals may welcome the emergence of like-minded dictators between Africa and the Arab world. To make matters worse, the collapse may cause chaos similar to Libya in Sudan, and negatively affect events in Libya, Egypt and Ethiopia, which is already a fragile community with nearly 2.5 billion people inhabited.

In the past two decades, the US government to suppress Bashir has launched a campaign of pressure and isolation. It designated Sudan as the national sponsor of terrorist activities (1993), imposed double sanctions on trade and the economy (1997 and 2006), and lowered the level of diplomatic relations. For more than a decade, US officials have refused to meet with Bashir and have continued to condemn them in international forums, effectively isolating Khartoum from the Western world. However, although the actions of Bashir’s regime certainly required strong countermeasures, the American campaign against him failed to produce the desired result: neither meaningfully changed its government’s behavior nor forced a change of government.

Finally, Bashir was deported by Sudanese citizens last year, creating opportunities in the thirty years of development. It is time for Washington to fully commit to the forces behind the revolution. As the window of action closes, the Trump administration and Congress should act quickly to support the political legitimacy of the new administration and support reforms that lay the foundation for lasting change.

Delete the scarlet letter [19659002] First, and most importantly, the United States should remove Sudan from the list of countries that support terrorism. No problem is more polarized and helpless than the name of terrorism, which has triggered restrictions on U.S. foreign aid, exports and transactions, and the most serious in Sudan’s case is the urgently needed debt relief and development financing Effective blockade. In addition, the name is like a scarlet letter, preventing most foreign banks and investors from entering anywhere near the Sudanese market, even when and where it is permitted by law. Although the removal of designated terrorism alone will hardly help the recovery of the economy, it is an obstacle that should be removed as soon as possible. For many in Sudan, withdrawal has also become a barometer of Washington’s commitment to the transition.

Handock called on Washington in September last year to stop "punishing the Sudanese people" in response to their long-term "evil regime" behavior. According to U.S. law, the most likely path to withdrawal from Sudan requires a healthy sanitation list: the designated government shall not provide any support for terrorist acts for six months, and promises in writing that it will avoid future evil activities. It has been more than a year since Bashir left, and with the implementation of these statutory requirements, the red letter still exists.

Why? Successive U.S. governments have confused the method of revocation and made a serious mistake. In order to seek political reforms, both the Democratic and Republican governments have made further demands for the Sudanese government in exchange for the Sudanese government's withdrawal from the list. This strategy failed to achieve its intended purpose, confused Sudanese officials and damaged the credibility of the United States. Today, some policy makers use Myanmar as a warning, hoping to retain the perceptible influence attached to the name-a means of controlling security institutions during the 39-month transition to civilian rule. Be wary of the democratic return in Myanmar after Aung San Suu Kyi's ascension in 2013, when the United States lifted all-out sanctions only to see the country regress under the control of the still powerful military government, and they were afraid of making concessions . Similar errors. However, the paralyzed Hamdok's fledgling government has made the possibility of such undesirable consequences ever greater.

A series of US court judgments against Sudan also complicated the work of reversing the resolution. The judgment involved compensation of 20 billion U.S. dollars for the terrorist attack carried out by Sudan two decades ago. Al-Qaeda. These claims were filed by victims of the bombings of the U.S. embassy in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 and the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000. These incidents were carried out by al-Qaeda, but later due to its shelters and shelters. Therefore, the Bashir government is complicit in material support. In the fall of 2019, the Trump administration’s decision to remove Sudan from the list of sponsors of terrorism will depend on resolving these requirements, a decision that brings Gordian closer together.

On behalf of the plaintiff, the State Department, Hamdok’s government reached a preliminary settlement in March, reducing Khartoum’s arrears. However, when the agreement was concluded, Sudan hoped that it would not be subject to any other or future demands made by the US courts. Indeed, it does not make sense to continue to hold Handock and his cash-strapped government accountable for the crimes of past regimes. The abolition of the title will restore certain legal protections, but the immunity requires Congress to guarantee "legal peace" as it did for Libya in 2008 and make similar claims. However, because the plaintiffs are not satisfied with the solution or want to make other claims, the plaintiffs expressed their concerns, so a few powerful senators are blocking this path. Although every victim’s family deserves justice, it further jeopardizes Sudan’s fragile political transition and further delays Sudan’s removal from the list of sponsors of terrorism, which has further increased by millions. Sudan's transition represents "an opportunity that does not appear frequently." Indeed, the Trump administration should disassociate the issue and take immediate action: abolish Sudan’s designation as a supporter of a terrorist country, finally reach a settlement with the plaintiff who is willing to receive compensation, and provide continuous support for those who wish to receive compensation. Legal process. [19659002] Rejuvenating the economy

Washington should also help to rejuvenate Sudan's economic downturn, and the fate of the transition period depends most on Sudan. When Bashir and his cronies finally left their posts, they left an economy hollowed out by corruption and radioactive to foreign investment. A quick look at the important factors-inflation rate of 114%, youth unemployment rate of 40%, negative GDP growth, and the dumbfounding $60 billion in outstanding debt, all bodes terrible.

Overvalued currency and limited foreign exchange reserves exacerbated food, electricity and fuel shortages. If Hamdok wants to satisfy the streets, gather different political groups and prevent the condor from waiting for his defeat, he needs to provide an economic dividend. In order to reverse the dilemma, he and his government face a familiar dilemma: They should make unpopular decisions in the short term, such as abolishing long-term fuel subsidies, in order to achieve greater stability in the long run.

In addition to cleaning up the banking industry, creating jobs, and providing compensation for the losses caused by the upcoming reforms, Handao’s reform package also includes liquidating or re-establishing control of hundreds of state-owned enterprises, many of them State-owned enterprises are among the corrupt elites in the security sector. Cutting off dependence on these power brokers will prove that the transition is one of the most difficult and potentially destabilizing trends.

An international donor conference in June failed to meet the rescue plan requested by Sudan. Although participants expressed political support for the prime minister and his agenda, the IMF President made it clear that without more donor assistance, "these reforms will be of little importance." Not only is the United States not the main sponsor of the meeting as it should be. , And its contribution pales in comparison with the role that Washington played in the generation that weakened the country’s economy. In addition to increasing its commitment to promote private investment and help recover billions of dollars stolen by officials of the previous regime, the Trump administration should nominate an ambassador to Sudan and send Pompeo to Khartoum for an official visit. Doing so will help legitimize the transitional government and show that the country is open for business.

Making peace at home

Sudan’s transitional charter requires peace negotiations between the government and armed opposition groups that have long been active in the western and southern regions of the country. Since these groups are largely bystanders of the revolution and new governance arrangements, the goal of the peace talks is to achieve a more comprehensive ethnic settlement to resolve the dissatisfaction of Sudanese citizens who have long been marginalized by the Sudanese government in Khartoum. .

The political party on the peace table now cherishes the hope of a long-suffering people. The identities of others are more from the legacy of influence from the past than from the support of the public, and they have always taken this process as hostages. As the deal deadline approaches (the parties have extended the negotiation time by approximately six times since the initial December deadline), it seems that the negotiation cannot escape the cynical logic. Therefore, the negotiation is more about spreading interests in the future government Rather than

this posture (this time the posture in the Cabinet Office, the governor and the seats of the sovereign assembly and the legislative assembly) is far from the spirit of revolution and the revolutionary spirit. The United States should work with its African and European allies to express its impatience for eager negotiations, and hope that the two sides will reach an agreement as soon as possible and be willing to invest resources in implementation. These international partners should also make it clear that they are willing to sanction or otherwise isolate those who fail to understand the changes in Sudan.

Dealing with the past

Responsible for the suffering of a generation The general needs among Sudanese of different backgrounds. The transitional government hinted that it might cooperate with the International Criminal Court, which made people hope that Bashir (one of the four defendants of the old regime) would eventually appear in court. But military figures within the government may prevent this result. (Bashir was convicted of corruption charges and is currently on trial in Sudan for his role in the 1989 coup. The coup brought him to power, but these actions only touched the demands of citizens.) At the same time, establish The committee’s move to investigate the crime committed on June 3, 2019 (the day security forces violently cleared demonstrators from central Khartoum, killing more than 100 people) was initially encouraging. However, this optimism has depressed the pace of the investigation, and investigators have limited contact with the victims and their families.

Only after the Sudanese people consider their past through the transitional justice process will a stable, democratic Sudan emerge. Design it yourself. However, they will need external support because domestic courts are not enough to supervise complex mass atrocity procedures, and because some of the people most responsible for the crime are still in a position of power, especially in the security sector, it is difficult to do To this point.

Like other transitional societies, the temptation is to focus on the present and the present, while promising to study the past in depth when there is political space. However, this kind of space did not appear alone: ​​it was created by firm leadership, and many Sudanese would not believe that only a little justice can bring a new day. American diplomacy should consistently reinforce this demand, and Washington should make major financial commitments to support courts, government agencies, and civil society organizations that aim to promote transitional justice.

There is no lack of critical attention to the failure of US foreign policy. It is correct. But opportunities for success sometimes cause less controversy, because their impact on American interests may not be immediately apparent. Helping Sudan consolidate its democratic transition is one such opportunity, which requires relatively limited investment and will bring dividends to the people on the streets of the United States and Sudan.

Zach Vertin is a non-resident researcher at the Brookings Institution. Jon Temin is the director of Freedom House Africa. Both served in the State Department during Obama's second administration.

Picture: Osama Elfaki

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