Note: This op-ed originally appeared in Just Security and was written by Hilary Mossberg, AML/CFT Advisor for Africa for The Sentry, and John Prendergast, Co-Founder of The Sentry.
Sudan’s civilian government and a broad cross-section of Sudanese civil society have recently called on the U.S. government to remove Sudan from its State Sponsors of Terrorism list. Many see such a move as the solution to reverse Sudan’s economic implosion, as the transitional government that emerged from last year’s toppling of dictator Omar al-Bashir seeks to move the country towards democracy. But the process required for delisting is widely misunderstood, the expectations for the results are exaggerated, and, most importantly, the real reforms necessary for economic recovery are grossly underappreciated. There are ways to achieve the goals Sudan’s pro-democracy forces have set for their country, but it will require multiple, methodical steps by both Sudan and the United States.
One myth is that the U.S. terrorist list designation prohibits or even criminalizes foreign investment. This is widely believed in Sudan and the idea has been perpetuated in recent articles. In reality, the terrorism listing triggers specific restrictions on the U.S. government’s foreign assistance to Sudan, bans defense exports and weapons sales, and controls the export to Sudan of dual-use items. The listing also prohibits exports to Sudan of certain agricultural goods and medical devices, but these bans have been almost entirely licensed away by the U.S. Treasury Department. Broader restrictions on banking and investment actually were removed when the United States lifted its comprehensive sanctions against Sudan in 2017…
Click here to read the full op-ed.
Following the publication of their op-ed, Prendergast and Mossberg sat down for a Q&A with the United States Institute of Peace. To read their article on the USIP website, please click here.