In 2007, Congress passed and the President signed into law the Sudan Accountability and Divestment Act (SADA). In addition to providing federal authorization for our targeted Sudan divestment legislation, SADA contained a provision that prevented the U.S. Government from contracting with companies engaged in restricted business with the Government of Sudan. Restricted business operations include power production activities, mineral extraction activities, oil-related activities, or the production of military equipment.
We at Genocide Intervention Network (GI-NET) recently discovered that ABB—one of the “Highest Offenders” tracked in GI-NET’s Sudan Company Report and one of many companies we are in direct communication with—was planning to enter into a contract with a U.S. government agency. We took action by writing the contracting office to inform them that ABB was unable to receive government contracts because of its operations in Sudan.
On March 18, following receipt of our letter, the contracting office issued a cancelled notice of their plans to contract with ABB. We’re proud to report that this marks the first time a U.S. Government agency has denied a contract to a company because of its involvement in Sudan in accordance with SADA. As we continue to monitor and prevent U.S. contracts with prohibited companies, we will create increasing leverage over companies like ABB and motivate them to change their behavior in Sudan. The passage, implementation, and enforcement of SADA have been made possible by the hard work of the anti-genocide community. This latest news shows how the law is continuing to grow in its impact.
Mark Hanis is the Executive Director of Genocide Intervention Network.