Note: This op-ed originally appeared in U.S. News & World Report and was written by The Sentry Co-founder and Enough Project Founding Director, John Prendergast.
After removing long-standing comprehensive sanctions against the government of Sudan, the United States is considering next steps on the path to full normalization of relations, driven by the U.S. intelligence community’s belief that such a development would enhance U.S.-Sudan intelligence cooperation. However, moving at this time towards normalization ignores critical developments and new circumstances that affect core U.S. national security interests.
Sudan has entered a new moment where a spiraling economic crisis – fueled by decades of grand corruption and gross economic mismanagement – has come to a head, sparking ongoing popular protests which have led to fatalities and the imprisonment of opposition leaders, protesters, journalists and other independent voices. Capital flight has intensified as regime kleptocrats capitalized on the removal of U.S. sanctions to move their money out of Sudan.
This regime is a classic case of state hijacking by a small group of political, military and commercial allies who have repurposed governing institutions to privatize the natural resource wealth of the country, from gold to oil to the gum arabic that goes in our sodas, candy bars and cosmetics. The state budget has been reduced to funding internal repression and war-making, while nearly everything else is stolen. The financial chickens have finally come home to roost, as inflation spikes, the currency devalues and hunger deepens…
Click here to read the full op-ed in U.S. News & World Report.