Enough Forum - Kleptocracy in Khartoum


Presented by the Enough Project, the Enough Forum is a platform for dynamic discourse engaging critical issues, challenges, and questions among thought leaders, field researchers, and policy experts. Opinions and statements herein are those of the authors and participants in the forum, and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or policy recommendations of the Enough Project.

Kleptocracy in Khartoum: Self-Enrichment by the National Islamic Front/National Congress Party

The 26 years of rule by the National Islamic Front/National Congress Party (NIF/NCP) regime in Khartoum have been marked by extraordinary levels of graft, corruption, cronyism, and outright theft of national wealth.  The regime has adapted to changing circumstances with remarkable skill; and while the expropriation of banks, land, countless businesses, and contracts for infrastructure work (which included work with Osama bin Laden’s construction company) may have defined the earlier years (1989 – 1999), the advent of substantial oil revenues in 1999 changed the forms of regime rapacity in significant ways.  So, too, did the secession of South Sudan in July 2011, which abruptly terminated Khartoum’s access to 75 percent of the total oil reserves.  Through all of this, however, the regime has consistently managed to use its control of national military power and the highly efficient security services, along with an elaborate system of cronyism, to expropriate vast portions of Sudanese national wealth, typically at the expense of the national economy.  The theft of this national wealth may take many forms, may be more or less brazen, and may be more or less open to scrutiny by outside observers; but the use of the military and security services to protect the regime in continual self-enrichment defines it as a Kleptocracy.