Press Release / / 02.06.19

Enough Project Statement: U.S. Should Suspend Normalization Talks with Sudan Regime, Impose Global Magnitsky Sanctions

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The Enough Project strongly denounces the deadly violence the Sudanese regime has unleashed against peaceful protesters and supports the aspirations of the people of Sudan as they protest against three decades of mass atrocities and institutional corruption under the autocratic rule of President Omar al-Bashir. We call on the U.S. government, European governments, the African Union, and the broader international community to hold the Khartoum regime accountable for the many lives lost, injuries sustained, and countless protesters detained and tortured as the regime attempts to silence the Sudanese peoples’ struggle for democracy and good governance.

Enough Project Founding Director John Prendergast said, “In response to the regime’s violence and intimidation, the United States should immediately suspend talks focused on further normalizing relations with Sudan, including any steps that would result in the possible removal of Sudan from the State Sponsors of Terrorism List.  The Trump administration, backed by Congress, should use its Global Magnitsky authorities to enact targeted financial sanctions against those Sudanese authorities – along with their networks of commercial collaborators – responsible for the violence and the mass corruption that has helped precipitate the economic crisis in the country.  The U.S. Treasury Department should also issue a FinCEN Advisory warning about the anti-money laundering and terrorist financing risks that Sudan continues to present to the international financial system so that financial institutions understand that banking with the regime in Khartoum is a risky business.”

Enough Project Senior Advisor Dr. Suliman Baldo added, “Now in their sixth week and growing stronger by the day, the ongoing processions and sit-ins are led by a coalition of youth groups, professional and workers associations, and opposition parties that joined in solidarity.  These constituencies represent leading elements of Sudanese society that are succeeding in channeling the energies of the population into an irreversible nonviolent movement seeking to achieve democratic change, an end to institutional corruption, a lasting and just peace, and justice for the victims of a brutal dictatorship.”

The largely peaceful protesters have been met with violence, including the use of live ammunition, which has led to the deaths of at least 51 protesters. The Enough Project is outraged by the story of a doctor being murdered while attending to wounded protesters in a makeshift emergency room,  the shooting of an elderly man who tried to protect protesters who took refuge in his house, and the women and girls released from detention describing horror stories of  beatings and sexual harassment at the hands of police and agents of Sudan’s abusive National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS). The perpetrators of these crimes must face justice, and steps must be immediately taken to prevent those who commit human rights violations in Sudan from being able to access the international financial system with impunity.

Dr. Baldo added, “The Sudanese government has failed to address the grievances of the population rooted in the rampant corruption, economic collapse, violence, and human rights abuses that have been a hallmark of the regime’s rule. The U.S. government, the European Union, Arab Gulf countries, and the African Union have all taken steps to support a regime that has for decades been a serial killer of its people.  In our view, however, the strategic interests of these international actors would be best served by a democratically elected government accountable to its people.”

Prendergast further explained, “Migration to Europe from and through Sudan would be reduced if the Sudanese people had a government that respects the rights of its citizens and manages the country’s rich resources to provide opportunity and hope for the country’s youth. The regime’s long record of supporting and allying itself with radical elements would be undermined by a more inclusive government that represents the will of the Sudanese people.  And the rights of Christians and other minorities would best be upheld by such a democratically elected government, rather than being trampled by one of the world’s most religiously repressive governments.”

Dr. Baldo concluded, “The government of President al-Bashir has lost all legitimacy in the eyes of the Sudanese people. The regime should likewise be afforded no legitimacy by the international community. Normalization of relations with Sudan should only occur as part of a path that strengthens a transition to democracy, not as part of a process that reinforces the hands of a kleptocratic dictatorship that is at war against its own diverse populations.”