Today, the Enough Project released its latest report, “Modernized Sanctions for Sudan: Unfinished Business for the Obama Administration,” co-authored by John Prendergast and Brad Brooks-Rubin.
Recognizing the current unprecedented opportunity to build on emerging leverage with the Sudanese government and deploy new targeted financial pressures to support a peace deal in Sudan, the report outlines a new strategy for the United States towards Sudan andoffers critical recommendations to minimize unintended consequences of existing sanctions measures that have harmed medical, humanitarian, civilian, and academic sectors in Sudan.
“The Bashir regime is now more vulnerable to these types of targeted financial measures because they would be aimed at the illicit and corrupt practices of perpetrators and orchestrators of atrocities. The focus now should be on the regime operatives that bankrupted the country and used the coffers of the State to enrich themselves and their cronies.”
– Omer Ismail, Senior Advisor at the Enough Project
Despite a faltering economy, sanctions from the U.N. and U.S. government, and growing political and armed opposition, the government of Sudan continues to pursue policies of exclusion, marginalization, and violent oppression. The Bashir regime has survived for more than 25 years by successfully looting the state and its considerable resource wealth and by responding to all opposition with unsparing violence. Past policy approaches have failed to counter the regime’s ability to finance conflict or to enrich itself at the expensive of the Sudanese people. As long as the regime can benefit from conflict and silence opposition, it has no incentive to pursue peace.
To create the pressure necessary to change calculations in Sudan’s government, the U.S. and its allies must employ a much broader strategy of financial pressure to target those individuals and entities that profit from this untenable status quo. A modernized sanctions regime will help alleviate negative effects on the Sudanese people while ratcheting up pressure on those responsible for the ongoing conflicts and human rights abuses throughout Sudan.
Recommended modernized sanctions tools and approaches include:
Sanctions on foreign financial institutions that facilitate the al-Bashir regime’s most egregious activities.
Focused anti-money laundering measures.
Modernized pressures that can more effectively target top regime officials and their commercial interests. These should include sectoral sanctions and similar efforts directed at elements of the weapons and mining sectors, particulalry for projects in conflict areas.
Anti-corruption sanctions against individuals and entities facilitating public corruption.
Increased designation and enforcement of targeted sanctions on specific companies owned by Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF), and companies owned by other senior government officials, which are all areas where sanctions enforcement has been weak.