Op-Ed / / 06.05.23

Just Security Op-ed: Two Experts Debate the Path Forward on Sudan

Note: This op-ed was originally published in Just Security and was written by John Prendergast, Co-Founder of The Sentry, and Ernst Jan Hogendoorn, Senior Advisor to the U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan from 2019-2023.


On June 1, the Biden administration imposed financial sanctions on four companies associated with and generating income for the warring parties in Sudan (two companies on each side of the fighting); imposed visa sanctions on a number of officials deemed to have subverted the democratic transition in Sudan; and issued a business advisory update spotlighting the risks associated with the burgeoning conflict.

The sanctions raise important questions: Is this enough action from the United States? Was this the right strategy? What more should be done? EJ Hogendoorn and John (JP) Prendergast are two leading experts on the conflict. They’ve worked for U.S. Special Envoys to Sudan, run U.S. interagency processes on Sudan, negotiated with Sudanese leaders, and worked for the same international NGO – but they have different views on the way forward. The dialogue below highlights their ideas and puts them in debate with each other.

John “JP” Prendergast: EJ, we largely agree on the causes of Sudan’s implosion, but we have a major divergence on what to do about it. Since much has been written already about the causes, and very little about solutions, I’d love to dive into the substance of our policy disagreements and see if we can help shed light on some serious options for what can be done about Sudan’s metastasizing crisis…

Read their full conversation in Just Security.