August 28, 2017 (KHARTOUM) – Washington-based advocacy group Enough Project Monday called on the U.S. administration to work in the future on ways to achieve a lasting peace and democratic reforms in Sudan pointing that the root problem remains the authoritarian, kleptocratic government.
Washington is largely expected to repeal the 20-year economic embargo on the east African nation, which is believed to be ineffective and more harmed for the Sudanese people than its rigid regime.
U.S. top diplomat in Khartoum Steven Koutsis explained to the Washington Post on Monday the American policy towards the Sudan saying “What we want to ensure is, while we are trying to get the regime to change its ways, that the people of Sudan are not suffering because of that”.
In line with this approach, Enough Project issued a statement on making the next step count saying “the next phase of U.S. policy needs to address the root problem in Sudan: the authoritarian, kleptocratic government that makes tactical short-term adjustments in its policies in response to mild pressures but retains its strategic objectives”.
The advocacy group further pointed to the need for “fundamental reforms in the Sudanese state” but emphasised on the for “effective pressures and incentives” to bring the government to achieve these changes.
“A comprehensive peace agreement with armed groups, commitment to human rights protections, including for religious minorities, and a more inclusive sharing of power with other Sudanese groups,” are among the required reforms.
More precisely the group enumerated a number of benchmarks saying Washington needs to press Khartoum to achieve including the repeal of legal and constitutional articles on Apostasy, removal of legal immunities for Sudanese military, paramilitaries and security forces.
Enough further calls for “a constitutional convention in Sudan that is led by Sudanese stakeholders and overseen by independent international monitors, followed by adoption of the new constitution”
The Sudanese government held last year a national dialogue process that the opposition groups boycotted because the government failed to ensure freedoms, release political detainees and to include the holdout rebel groups.
Recently the Popular Congress Party criticised the government for not enforcing the recommendations of the dialogue process and also excluding them from the decision making process in this respect.
Enough Project said the U.S. administration during the next phase of engagement should prepare “smart, modernized sanctions that spare the Sudanese public and target those most responsible for grand corruption, atrocities and obstructing peace”
Also, the group said that Sudan’s removal of the State Sponsor of Terrorism and support for Sudanese debt relief, should be on the negotiating table of the normalisation of bilateral relations process and used as garrotes to bring the ruling National Congress Party to achieve peace and democratic reforms in Sudan.
“Shorter term incentives could include the appointment of a full U.S. ambassador and increased trade promotion activities,” it further said.