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Sudan’s Recovery Crippled by U.S. Sanctions Policy

In Africa, Being a World Citizen, Conflict Resolution, Current Events, Human Rights, Middle East & North Africa, NGOs, Solidarity, Sudan, The Search for Peace, Track II, United Nations, World Law on June 15, 2020 at 8:54 PM

By René Wadlow

 

Economic recovery from decades of stagnation and misuse of resources during the 30-year dictatorship of Omar al-Bashir is critical for Sudan’s civilian-led transitional government.

Since August 2019, Sudan has been led by a Council made up of six civilians and five members of the military with a cabinet of liberal civilian administrators headed by Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok, a former economist with the United Nations (UN). Elections are scheduled for next year, time for civil society to organize.

Sudan

However, chronic economic problems could lead elements in the armed forces to assert further their influence even without trying to take power. Sudan faces deep economic challenges. There is a backlog of domestic needs. The consequences of the creation of a separate State of South Sudan are still not resolved. The armed conflicts in the Darfur provinces, while not as active as earlier, still exist. Real economic development in Darfur is stopped.

The Association of World Citizens (AWC) was the first nongovernmental organization to raise the Darfur conflicts in the UN Commission on Human Rights in early 2004. Since then, our Association has striven to have negotiations in good faith to resolve the issues. However, the original opposition alliances have broken down into smaller, tribal-based groups and no real negotiations have been able to be held.

A strong obstacle to Sudan’s economic development is the continued United States (U. S.) economic sanctions which impact trade and investment. The U. S. sanctions policy prevents loans from international institutions such as the World Bank. The U. S. still lists Sudan as a “State sponsor of terrorism”. Sudan in an earlier period did house violent Islamist movements which carried out attacks in other countries such as the attack on the U. S. Embassy in Kenya. However, the violent Islamist groups were not “sponsored” by the government of Sudan.

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Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok of Sudan

Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok in his address to the UN General Assembly said that these U. S. sanctions “have played havoc on our people causing them untold misery of all types and forms. We, in the transitional government call on the United States of America to take Sudan off the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism.”

Such a realistic request is a necessary first step toward the creation of a stable Sudan which should be able to play a positive role in an unstable part of the world. The AWC will continue its efforts for a Sudan in which all can play a positive role.

Prof. René Wadlow is President of the Association of World Citizens.

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