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Tell the State Department it’s the wrong time to accelerate U.S.-Sudan normalization

The United States recently launched a process and set forth a new series of benchmarks that could culminate in removing Sudan from the State Sponsors of Terrorism List (SST) as part of a path to a full normalization of relations with Sudan. The regime is desperate to be removed as it prohibits the United States from supporting debt relief, which is a top priority for Sudan, and the designation makes it less likely that private sector companies will do business in Sudan due to the risks associated with doing business in a country that is on the SST list.

However, moving at this time towards normalization ignores critical developments that affect core U.S. national security interests. This is the same regime that has conducted genocide against the people of Darfur, bombed and starved the populations in the Nuba Mountains, and denied millions of Sudanese citizens access to critical humanitarian aid. The regime has not fundamentally changed and continues to be led by the same leader President Omar al-Bashir who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for genocide and crimes against humanity.

Even as the regime courts favor with the U.S. officials, it has continued its repression of religious minorities and support for extremism.

Instead of helping to provide the regime with an economic lifeline, the U.S. should be increasing pressure to press for fundamental reforms in the country’s governance system and political leadership.  Due to gross corruption, economic mismanagement and financing a security apparatus that threatens its own population, the Sudanese economy is nearing a breaking point. And even if the U.S. proceeds with the SST delisting of Sudan, that would not automatically lead to debt Sudan’s debt forgiveness as Sudan would still have to demonstrate a sustainable record of serious economic reforms, establish credible anti corruption institutions, and respect the fundamental rights of its citizens in order to meet the the threshold of requirements by its other creditors and international financial institutions.

Join us in urging the State Department to stop the path toward normalization and work with their colleagues at Treasury to impose new network sanctions and anti money laundering measures against Sudan’s powerful kleptocrats to build the necessary leverage that will help bring needed changes to the regime.

 

Normalization with Sudanese regime will provide economic lifeline to corrupt regime responsible for violence and gross human rights violations. @StateDept should stop the rush to normalization and insist on fundamental reform to a genocidal regime.