Did you catch “Madam Secretary” on April 1st and want to learn more about U.S.-Sudan relations? Are you looking to better understand how the episode reflects real issues? If so, this blog can help.
Regarding the question related to removing U.S. sanctions on Sudan, as was discussed in the episode, the decision has already been made. In October last year, most of the existing U.S. economic sanctions on Sudan were removed based on a five-track process the Obama administration negotiated with Khartoum in an effort to achieve tangible progress on a limited set of issues including: partnering on counterterrorism priorities, defeating the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), ending Sudanese support to South Sudanese armed opposition groups, enacting a cessation of hostilities, and expanding humanitarian access.
The Enough Project believes that while the five-track plan encompasses several critical issues, it does not get at the heart of what ails Sudan: a violent kleptocratic system that excludes many Sudanese people, especially those in periphery areas, and is the source of immense suffering. In order to address the fundamental issues producing violence and state dysfunction in Sudan, the Enough Project has called on the Trump administration to design and enact a new track of engagement with Khartoum that is focused on peace and human rights.
Currently, reports also indicate that the United States is considering removing Sudan from the State Sponsors of Terrorism List as part of a path to a full normalization of relations with Sudan. This means that the Trump administration and Congress are debating questions surrounding United States’ Sudan policy. You can learn more about Sudan’s connection to religious extremism, which constituted a key element of the episode, in “Radical Intolerance: Sudan’s Religious Oppression and Embrace of Extremist Groups” by Dr. Suliman Baldo.
If you are looking to understand more about the current debate over normalization of relations with Sudan and why the Enough Project strongly opposes this action and believes the timing is ill-advised, read our report “With Friends Like These: Strong Benchmarks for Next Phase of U.S.-Sudan Relations” by Dr. Suliman Baldo.