Lifting the US Sanctions on Khartoum regime begs the Question
رفع العقوبات الأمريكية على نظام الخرطوم يطرح السؤال
Lifting the US Sanctions on Khartoum Needs Revisiting and Proper Evaluation
رفع العقوبات الأمريكية على الخرطوم يحتاج إلى إعادة النظر والتقييم السليم
By Mahmoud A. Suleiman
People of Sudan in Darfur call the lifting of the US sanctions on Khartoum regime to be accompanied by progress in the unfettered relief delivery to war-affected citizens and sustainable peace tracks.
America is Moving fast and Heading towards Lifting Sanctions on Sudan. However, opposition to that remains widespread. Sudanese activists in the United States of America called for a rally in front of the Capitol Hill, the seat of the legislature, the House of Representatives and the Senate, in Washington, DC on Thursday 14 November 2017, to protest the planned visit of the Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour to the US on Thursday and Friday to complete an agreement to lift US sanctions on the regime.
The Protest organisers say they are protesting against the visit of a genocide engineer who has lost the lives of millions of Sudanese and destroyed their country. They also send a message to the US Administration and the Congress that they oppose lifting the sanctions unless human rights and peace in Sudan are guaranteed. The activists called for making the visit of Ibrahim Ghandour an opportunity to besiege Ghandour and reject normalization of relations with the Khartoum regime at the expense of peace and freedoms and the killing of Sudanese civilians in the war zones and the blood of the Darfuri University students who were spilled on the eve of Eid al-Adha.
Time wis passing fast towards the fool’s day deadline 12 October 2017 set by the US administration of President Donald Trump for likely permanent lifting of the decades’ long trade and financial sanctions on the Khartoum regime. The preparation of the way for a permanent lifting of the US sanctions on the genocidal regime in Khartoum is racing fast despite the blatant continuation of the regime to deny access of humanitarian assistance to civilian population in the war affected zones in Darfur, Nuba Mountains, Ingessana in the Blue Nile territories, let alone its violation of seize fire.
The regime has turned the entire Sudan into a tinderbox. Previous diplomatic efforts for the resolution of the chronic Sudanese crises were stymied by the NCP regime’s long track record of rights abuses, obduracy and intransigence. Bashir’s tendency to derogate and deride the parties in the dispute with arrogance based on nothing but mere stubborn stupidity, tyranny and oppression as cover up for his chronic frustration over his indictment by the International Criminal Court (ICC) and because of its chase of him.
It is just a few weeks before the US administration to determine its position on renewing the decision to lift the sanctions on the Sudanese regime headed by al-Bashir. It is not known exactly what the President Trump Administration will take in this regard, but the certain thing is that a resolution aimed at laundering the hands of al-Bashir from the crime of creating, sponsoring and caring for terrorists is nothing but a blatant ignorance of the New US Administration who is blindfolded to see the state of the continuing heinous crimes of the NCP regime. Moreover, the rosy picture of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) regime conveyed by the former US Envoys inspired the imagination of international policymakers in Washington in the past during their handling of the Sudanese issue, so the current US Administration should not be bamboozled by the foregoing in its decision taking on October 2, 2017.
The (NCP) regime of Marshal Omer Hassan Ahmed Al-Bashir is being sought after by some quarters in America and the West to give him a patent of acquittal. Al-Bashir lacks competence in almost every field except for the suppression of public freedoms and his boring cat-and-mouse (Tom & Jerry Tales) like game with the International Criminal Court (ICC)! His failure to achieve peace and political stability is best illustrated by his ongoing proxy wars waged by the cloned Janjaweed militias –aka Rapid Support Forces (RSF) against the Sudanese civilian citizens and conflicts that strike throughout the country and his deliberate obstruction of peaceful efforts. Omar al-Bashir continues to commit all these crimes to enable him to stay in power in Sudan, protecting him from the grip of the (ICC) which has been chasing him since 2009.
It is clear and leaving no room for doubt that Omer al-Bashir and his gang are the main tools to implement carefully the externally devised plan aimed at destroying Sudan and plundering its capabilities. This conviction has been confirmed by the total destruction of the country and its people. The foregoing has to some extent reinforced by the rosy picture bestowed upon the regime sometimes through crony reporters. This behavior is no stranger to some envoys of international organizations, who tend to write lengthy reports to beautify the image of the Sudanese regime, which is so ugly in its treatment of the Sudanese people throughout the blood-stained lean years of its oppressive rule.
The Americans have recently visited the war-ravaged Darfur region as part of their assessment of the possibility of lifting the sanctions on Sudan as of October 12, 2017.
The infamous Thabo Mbeki Committee has expressed its interest in resuming its talks with General Abdul Aziz al-Helu, who turned the table on the old leadership guard of the SPLM-North in the Nuba Mountains. However, perhaps the most important activity was the activity in which the Americans were involved. They started re-evaluating the situation in Sudan in preparation for a final decision within a month from now on lifting the sanctions on Sudan. For the purpose on a fact-finding mission to Sudan, Mr. Mark Green has visited the Darfur region, gave a look at the unhindered arrival of humanitarian assistance that the government promised to remove all the obstacles the Americans used to complain about. Mr. Mark Green monitored the development. The (NCP) regime allowed, for the first time in seven years for relief workers to access the Jebel Marra area, which the Government had barred from entering. Washington’s top aid official, Mark Green, visiting Sudan’s North Darfur state, stressed on Monday August 28, 2017 the importance of unfettered humanitarian access as a key demand for easing U.S. sanctions against the government of President Omar al-Bashir. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-aid-sudan/in-war-torn-darfur-new-u-s-aid-chief-stresses-need-for-humanitarian-access-idUSKCN1B825W
During this visit, the US high-level envoy stressed that the United States is willing to normalize its relations with Sudan and expects the Sudanese government to continue its efforts to remove obstacles to normalization, stressing that steps have been taken by the government to address the five issues agreed upon.
Nevertheless, the envoy urged the government to expedite the removal of obstacles, stressing that the final decision on the lifting of sanctions is with the President of the United States and his Secretary of State Rex Wayne Tillerson. The US Administration needs to put into account Khartoum’s long history of backtrack on its commitments which remain, should President Trump opts for sanctions relief on the 12th October 2017. The National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) Draconian Oppressive laws against Public Freedoms in Sudan are continuing. The (NCP) regime affiliated Janjaweed militia; Rapid Support Forces (RSF) waged war against the armed groups, Sudan Liberation Army/Movement of Minni Minnawi (SLA/M-MM) in North and East Darfur states on May 2017. And thus the Sudanese regime violated the cease-fire declared by both parties. Furthermore, there is evidence according to AL Hamish Voice electronic Journal that LRA forces are still present with the knowledge of the Government of Sudan in areas of South Darfur. Former LRA commander Peter Kadika, who surrendered himself to Ugandan and US troops in central Africa, said that the LRA leader Joseph Kony was in Sudan’s Darfur region –Bahr Al-Arab locality – after being expelled from South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Central Africa Republic (CAR) for several years. http://www.alhamish.com/%E2%80%AB%D8%B2%D8%B9%D9%8A%D9%85-
To make bad matters worse for the (NCP) regime, The New York Times said: ( While the United States is considering lifting sanctions on the government of Sudan, the South’s accusations against its counterpart Khartoum continues providing the southern opposition with weapons as one of the most sensitive issues for sanction lifting. Moreover, an Associated Press report indicated that the rebel fighters from the South Sudanese opposition who were returning to South Sudan government forces said arms were flowing from Sudan to the South Sudan Opposition fighters who were fleeing to the Sudanese side of the border in search of safe haven. On the other hand, weapons experts say the Sudanese government has provided the South Sudan Opposition with weapons, which is a cause for concern as the Trump administration is considering lifting the sanctions on Sudan’s government in October after 20 years of imposing it for gross human rights violations. For its part, the US State Department says the United States will continue to urge the Government of Sudan to continue to cooperate with Washington in dealing with the conflict in southern Sudan and to try to stop the historical patterns of revenge of supporting the armed opposition by Sudan and South against each other.
The five tracks US conditions include:
• Giving more access to humanitarian workers in war zones
• An end to hostilities against armed groups in Sudan in the “Two Areas” (South Kordofan and Blue Nile) and Darfur.
• And halting support for insurgents in neighbouring South Sudan.
• Cooperation with the US-backed counterinsurgency efforts against the threat of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) of Joseph Kony.
However, Washington has begun pressing further for religious freedom in Sudan as the prospect of lifting sanctions against Khartoum approaches. The United States raised the issue of religious freedom during talks on easing sanctions on Sudan, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) director Mark Green said on during his recent visit to Sudan. Green held talks in Khartoum with senior Sudanese officials at a time when the US government is considering whether to ease the 20-year-old sanctions on Sudan, a decision to be made by October 12.
“The regime in Khartoum has not complied with any of the American conditions. The war in Darfur has not taken any truce but instead has escalated remaining at its ferocity. The Janjawid militia forces, now known as, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) continue to wreak havoc on earth and commit atrocities in Darfur. Human rights violations in Sudan have increased and the public freedoms have been denied. South Kordofan (aka Nuba Mountains) region is still suffering from hunger and disease because of the siege the (NCP) regime government has been wracking it since the war began nearly six years ago. Would the US Administration of President Donald Trump lift finally the sanctions on the regime in Khartoum despite its non-compliance with its conditions and despite its continued support of terrorist organizations and groups in the world? This is what the next few weeks will reveal; Mutasim Ahmed Saleh said. http://www.sudanjem.com/2017/09/%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D9%82%D9%88%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A3%D9%85%D8%B1%D9%8A%D9%83%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%89-%D9%86%D8%B8%D8%A7%D9%85-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A8%D8%B4%D9%8A%D8%B1-%D8%A8%D9%8A-2/#more-134935
Sudan hired lobbyists Squire Patton Boggs to lobby Washington for sanctions relief paying $40,000 a month.
These are all harbingers of the predetermined intention of the US administration to total lift permanently the 20-year-old sanctions from the Sudan, whether the Sudanese people in the Darfur region opposed it or not as a fait accompli. Furthermore, and to make bad matters worse for the Darfurians that the United Nations (UN) “aka Report Writers” have allegedly reported progress in the opening of aid corridors by Sudan’s military to get food and medicine into once tightly-controlled areas of Darfur. The people in Darfur reiterate that they have been saying that the influential members of the National Congress Party (NCP) regime in Darfur tended to play tricks before the visits of international official to Darfur by telling the visitor that everything is going well by preparing mock plays that show that peace and the conditions for lifting US sanctions on Sudan have been completed, which makes the US official lead astray and bamboozled to believe and get convinced. Thus, the boring irksome Sitcom series of the regime continue to increase the suffering of the citizens.
Afterwards, the status quo will remain and the regime would stir up tribal tensions with a view to apply its doctrine of divide and rule.in order to distract them away from the issues of concern to them.
The components of the Sudanese political opposition emphasize that what has been achieved so far by the (NCP) regime is nothing more than tactical concessions that did not address the substance and did not rise to the full extent of the real changes desired and there are no sufficient guarantees their sustainability for long.
US aid chief Mark Green said on Monday August 28, 2017 Washington was monitoring Sudan’s progress on conditions for a permanent lifting of sanctions, as he visited Zamzam camp for the Internally displaced Persons (IDPs) in Darfur.
Devotion and manifestation of solidarity of all the Sudanese people is essential and much needed factor for bringing about the demise of the genocidal regime of the NCP. Radical political reform is needed as well as a move to make breakthrough historic move towards ridding of the oppressive ideologized Hippocratic military regime. This approach needs getting out of political bickering that has divided the Sudanese political opposition. Triumph awaits the Sudanese people to make a new calendar of the keyword of solidarity. For achieving that, we need putting our dividing flags into the dustbin and unify under a common banner targeting the arch-foe and archenemy, the genocidal and ethnic cleansing criminal regime of the (NCP). Let us unify the armed resistance to confront the dictatorial regime and let us back our words with action. That is the only way for lifting our country Sudan out of the miserable abyss and the quagmire. Omer al-Bashir and his regime remain responsible for annihilation of over 300,000 civilian Sudanese people in Darfur and internally displaced (IDPs) over 2.5 million from their homes along with the many women, children and elderly who have crossed the borders to the neighbouring Chad since 2003, fleeing the ongoing violence . Therefore, wishful thinking is nothing but a defeat. Moreover, it is the formation of beliefs and making decisions according to what might be pleasing to imagine instead of by appealing to evidence, rationality or reality. It is a product of resolving conflicts between belief and desire and we need to distance from it. https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=whishful+thinking&oq=whishful+thinking&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l5.13013j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
The US President Donald Trump has to understand that dictators like the génocidaire Omer Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir never have and never will be interested in reform. They are stone deaf and impervious to reason.
Dictators including the incumbent one in Sudan are allergic to reform, and they are cunning survivors. They will do whatever it takes to preserve their power and wealth, no matter how much blood ends up on their hands. Furthermore, the dictators are stone deaf and impervious to reason, quoting the Ghanaian economist George Ayittey! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/thor-halvorssen/george-ayittey-how-to-def_b_883549.html
President Trump needs to realize that the regime led by the Dictator al-Bashir in Sudan is a master deceiver and talented manipulator who cannot be trusted to change. The only thing that would deter al-Bashir is surely the loss of Western funding. The US sanctions on Khartoum if remain threatening the (NCP) regime would make Omer al-Bashir thinking twice before taking anyone atrocity. Let the sanctions remain pending drastic reforms to be taken by the dictator al-Bashir and his entourage who are nearing their demise. The sound of their audible fall will soon become resonating and audible worldwide.
The components of the Sudanese people represented by political parties, armed movements and all citizens call on the US administration to US President Donald Trump to link the lifting of economic sanctions with measurable progress in the comprehensive peace process, unhindered delivery of humanitarian aid to all areas, , Respect for human rights, and democratization so as not to employ the expected economic return due to the lifting of sanctions in financing the war and consolidating the pillars of dictatorship.
What are the reasons for US sanctions on the ruling regime of Omar al-Bashir?
• There are different reasons for the US sanctions on Bashir’s regime. The Sanctions have been imposed because of the war waged by the regime in Darfur, human rights violations, the suppression of freedoms, murders and rape, and some of them related to the regime’s support for terrorism.
These reasons can be summarized as follows:
1. The regime’s involvement in crimes of murder, rape, war and genocide in Darfur, including the crimes of the regime and its violations of extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests, unlawful detention by the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) , forced disappearance and aerial bombardment of civilian targets and attacks against unarmed civilians, looting and destruction of civilian villages and houses, mass displacement, attacks on churches, intervention in medical and humanitarian assistance, attacks targeting ethnic and racial groups and mass graves.
2 – The regime’s involvement in supporting international terrorism and embracing terrorists in its territory (Osama bin Laden – Carlos the Jackal – Joseph Kony and the leaders of militant Islamic groups, including the ISIS).
3 – The involvement of the regime in terrorist operations such as the bombing of the vessel Cole and the bombing of the US embassy in Nairobi.
4. The blatant violation of human rights, the imposition of a one-party system by military force, the absence of democracy and the suppression of public freedoms.
The US President Donald Trump Executive Order (EO) has linked the full lifting or extension of Sanctions on Sudan by implementing the following:
• Stop the war and achieve peace in Darfur and disarm the militias.
• Allow humanitarian aid and assistance to reach those in need unconditionally
• Non-interference in the affairs of Southern Sudan (stop supporting Rikk Machar and his followers) and sow discord between southerners.
• lifting restrictions on public freedoms and halting human rights violations;
• Achieving democratic transition and political détente) during the six months ending in June, was extended to October.
What progress has been made so far by the (NCP) regime regarding the demands/conditions for lifting sanctions?
Everything has remained the same since the (“EO 13761”) issued by President Donald Trump (the war in Darfur and the Nuba Mountains, violations of human rights and public freedoms, non-disarmament of militias).
1 – Attacks against the SLM-MM in Ain Siro and South Darfur – Jebel Marra and Golo events and others confirm the continuation of the war.
2 – The continuation of arbitrary arrests (Dr. Mudawi Ibrahim – Amal Habbani – Ibrahim Al – Sheikh … etc) during the previous period – and the suppression of public freedoms and unfair trials (University student Aasim Omar Hassan) and the confiscation of newspapers after printing (confiscation newspapers newspaper – Times.
3. The continued support of Rick Machar and her group to implant the division and diaspora between South Sudan’s ethnic components
4 – The prevention of the arrival of relief to the Nuba Mountains and parts of Jebel Marra.
5 – The prevention of the political activities of parties and centers of enlightenments belonging to politicians on the pretext of inconvenience.
6. No political breakthrough was achieved in the country, and the outcome of the national dialogue was a process of recruitment for the participants. The regime increased its intransigence and hostility to the political opponents. Thus, the government did not fulfill anything that it requested or committed to achieve. The regime fled the political entitlement by resorting to Saudi Arabia And the UAE in the process of mercenary known as the crisis of packages to solve their economic problems and relied on military solutions and security in the face of its opponents and did not meet any of its agreements with the armed movements as well as its commitments with some factions, which led some of them to rebel again.
The lifting of the US sanctions on the regime led by al-Bashir is nothing but enhancing the flow of imported military equipments in the form of arms lending to escalation of war and would unleash the government’s will to commit more atrocities in the war zones, oppression of citizens and political opponents, and further deterioration in human rights and public freedoms. Furthermore, the confiscation of newspapers is unabatedly continued in Sudan. The lifting of the sanctions should be linked to the final cessation of the war, the achievement of peace throughout the country, the achievement of a genuine political breakthrough that would allow unrestricted political practice, the maintenance of human rights and public freedoms, the prohibition of the confiscation of newspapers and the achievement of comprehensive democratic transformation in Sudan. The US Administration needs to listen to the voices of concerned about the (NCP) regime’s malicious plan for systematically and deliberately starving the people of Sudan based on the malicious principle of “starve your dog to follow you”. This has been confirmed without any doubt by the economic deterioration, the deterioration of living conditions, and the hardship of life for the citizens and political strangulation all of which has nothing to do with the US sanctions. The main reasons are the confusion and randomness in economic policies and mismanagement and administrative and financial corruption and embezzlement and nepotism and the absence of accountability. The expected financial benefits from lifting of the US economic sanctions on the Khartoum regime will only increase its repression of the public freedoms and targeting the political opposition and the igniting of more wars and further suffering for the Sudanese citizens. The late Dr. John Garang de Mabior has been quoted as said years ago that (The NCP regime is so deformed that it cannot be reformed). The US President Donald Trump may remember the statements made by the (NCP) regime leader Omer al-Bashir when the International Criminal Court (ICC) indicted him by saying :( The US, France & UK are “underneath my shoes)!
Martin Luther King Jr. was an American Baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the Civil Rights Movement has been quoted as say: History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. Martin Luther King, Jr.). https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/martinluth133707.html
Dr. Mahmoud A. Suleiman is an author, columnist and a blogger. His blog is http://thussudan.wordpress.com/