Doom-wishers should abstain; Sudan-US Rapproachment Rolls On (1)

Mon, 01.05.2017 19:28

At the time when the whole world, and particularly the region environ the Sudan, has become increasingly threatened by the spectre of terrorism, migration, and regional conflicts, corollary causing great dynamic and profound transformations in international regional relations, the State Department's annual reports has been regularly delineating and referring to Sudan, as one of the most stable and consistent partners of the U.S. intelligence community in the war against terror in this century.

In other words, many variables and developments have taken place on the political scene, making the U.S more inclined toward the normalization with Sudan. On the top of which was the emergence of deadliest terrorist organizations, besides the bloody conflicts that beset and engulfed the region , in addition to the negative ramifications of the Arab Spring uprisings, leaving behind vast numbers of refugees, exacerbating and turning illegal immigration, into a world crisis of unprecedented proportions.

For Sudan, the silver lining of these variables on the other hand, has promoted the chances of lifting Sudan's two decades of sanctions; as it prioritize the stability of the Sudan and the protection of its central authority from colapse, as an integral part of regional and global security. In fact, the world gradually started to see in Sudan, in a way or another, the only safe oasis, in an environment steeped in blood and torn and ripped by warfare's and conflicts.

American U-turn toward rapprochement with Sudan, has been supplemented with Sudan's pivotal role in combating extremism and human trafficking, supporting peace efforts in the state of South Sudan, in addition to the considerable domestic security and political reforms. All that was in harmony with five-track benchmarks, agreed upon between the two sides since mid 2016, prompting eventually President Obama's to make its decision to partially lift the trade embargo against Sudan. Although Obama's decision took many by surprise, nevertheless, it was a natural consequence of protracted bilateral efforts, that has been operating in silence.

With Obama's 180 days ‘look back’ provision - which ends in July 13th- purportedly to encourage Sudan to take further positive political actions, it was not surprising to see Sudan's doom-wishers flock together here and there, racing against time, desperately casting doubts and confusion, in their sinister pursuit to thwart the rapprochement which is destined otherwise, to bring to an end, Sudan's long awaited relief from the yoke of voracious sanctions.

One of the major manifestations of that campaign, is the current mounting hue and cry, hammering Sudan's human rights record. However these anti-Sudan circles deliberately fail to acknowledge, that Sudan has already made significant progress in the field of human rights, inclusive and transparent national dialogued and other political reforms, at least compared to many African, Arab and Islamic countries. With international testimonies, Sudan is advanced in its jurisprudence, in terms of political, civil and moral rights, rights of children, women and others.

That is further evidenced by the fact that, in the UN’s top human rights body in Geneva, and in recognition of its continued efforts in this regard, has already moved Sudan from a monitoring clause to technical cooperation clause. Moreover, compared to many of the countries around, and despite some challenges still ahead , Sudan is by and large, enjoys free press, free media, freedom of speech , without fear or intimidation. The on-going political reforms, permeant constitution and the inclusive national dialogue do contributes in enhancing Sudan's efforts in further enshrining and protection of human rights in the country.

Just for the sake of argument, one has the right to wonder; why these hypocritical circles, opted to turn deaf ears, or rather opted to keep their mouths shut, when the same Obama administration decided almost at the same time, to lift 20 years of sanctions on Myanmar; Myanmar where the most egregious violations of human rights and cold blooded massacres are committed in the broad day-light. As a matter of fact, discussing such issue would unnecessarily re-open Pandora's box of volumes upon volumes of similar despicable international duplicity and hypocrisy.

Ironically enough, in the forefront of this frantic campaign , that overtly and covertly instigate Trump administration to reinstate or delay the lifting of American sanctions on Sudan, comes the remnants of the armed movements. They are however, the very same guys, whom Ambassador Lyman ( former US envoy to Sudan ) has been recently referring to, as leaders who are more than willing to ignore the interests and the well-being of ordinary civilians in favor of their own narrow political ambitions, no matter what are the cost.

Derived by their narrow political and personal ambitions, these opportunists were obviously addicted and learnt to rely on the continuation of sanction's leverage, as a weapon and pressure card, that has been always ready to compensate their otherwise shattered strength and increasing isolation even within the periphery of their purported masses.

Arguably it was via the manifest lack of will, procrastination and disruption tactics, the said remnant armed movements, have been nastily hampering consecutive international and regional peace efforts in Sudan, the late of which, being the Road-map and the very U.S plan and proposal of humanitarian aid-delivery in the two areas.

There should be no mistake, all these manoeuvres are mainly derived by zero-sum game; out of fear that the prospects of negotiable peace in the Sudan at this juncture, would spontaneously put Khartoum closer and closer to the Grand-prix; the promised lifting of sanctions. That truly explains why an informed person like Ambassador Lyman, was all convinced, that these villains are more than willing to ignore the interests and the well-being of ordinary civilians, in favor of their own narrow political ambitions, no matter what are the cost.

There is a mounting contention, that sanctions against Sudan has become no longer an effective tool, in bringing about the desired political changes, primarily because, after long twenty years or so, it has already lost its political and moral justifications, in both, the eyes of the ordinary Sudanese people and international observes alike, as it increasingly tend to harm and negatively impact the most, the ordinary Sudanese citizen.

Commenting on how American sanctions were harming ordinary people, the United Nations Special Rapporteur Idriss Jazairy has concluded that sanctions have affected many regular people's ability to conduct business, transfer money, and go about regular everyday life activities. In a nutshell in Sudan, because of sanctions one cannot download an app via Google play, or update software. No transactions can take place over the Internet because one cannot use a credit card. One can’t order a book, a computer or buy music. Extra.

This above fact was featured clearly by Ambassador Lyman, when he testified couple of days ago before a Congressional committee. He put it clearly that sanctions are no longer the optimum pressure card on the Sudanese government; as the government of Sudan, according to Lyman, is and shall continue to be the biggest actor, in shaping the political scene in Sudan, at least for the near future.

By Mubarak M.Musa Diplomat;

Embassy of Sudan in Ukraine, Kiev

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Opinions expressed below do not reflect the opinions of SP "Ukraine in Arabic," they only reflect the views of the author.

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