Home | Comment & Analysis    Wednesday 11 October 2017

Sudan-U.S relations: Khartoum’s animosity went with the wind after sanctions lifting

By Mahmoud A. Suleiman

This article comes in the aftermath of the calming and fading away from the heavy dust triggered by the event of lifting the decades-long US economic and trade sanctions on Sudan on Friday, October 6, 2017. The purpose of the article is to explore these decisions and their immediate and future implications in the two countries. In this context, it is worth mentioning the statements of the charge d’affaires of the US embassy in Khartoum after the decision to lift the trade and economic sanctions on Sudan. The charge d’affaires of the US embassy in Khartoum was explicit in his statements that included his knowledge of the policies of the ruling regime of the National Congress Party (NCP) and its tendency to manipulate agreements and non-compliance with them. It goes without saying, everyone knows well through experience as to how deceptive the NCP/NIF were famous for reneging agreements signed with parties in disputes. On the other hand, the lifting of sanctions is not something for granted. In other words, there are still e remaining terms and conditions which the NCP regime needs to abide by. Implicitly it means the five tracks that stress Sudan’s commitment to UN resolutions on North Korea, fighting terrorism, working against the LRA, peace in the South Sudan, peace in Sudan, and the unfettered arrival of humanitarian relief and assistance to civilians in war zones. Despite this latest action, Sudan will remain on the US State Sponsors of Terrorism list. It also remains subject to separate United Nations Security Council (UNSC) sanctions related to its violent crackdown on opposition groups in Darfur, for which Sudan’s President, Omar al-Bashir, faces International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecution on charges of crimes against humanity, war crimes including genocide.

State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement Friday. "Furthermore, the United States is prepared to use additional tools to apply pressure if the Government of Sudan regresses on progress to date in the five areas noted above or takes negative actions in other areas of concern. http://edition.cnn.com/2017/10/06/politics/us-to-lift-sanctions-sudan/index.html

Going forward, we’re going to engage the government of Sudan to ensure that there’s no regression on its positive actions to date," the official said, "and secondly, to work for continued progress, both on the issues in the five track areas, and to advance additional administration priorities. “Any further normalization of ties will require continued progress by the Government of Sudan," State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert said. Furthermore, the Democratic Representative of the US House of Representatives Jim McGovern said the decision to lift sanctions would "legitimizes the killings committed by the government of Sudan" and warned that "any setback will likely prompt Congress to re-impose sanctions.” US Republican McGovern Condemns Trump Sanctions Relief for Sudan. https://mcgovern.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=397129

Thus, lifting sanctions is not just a gift without follow-up. Without a doubt, the follow-up will be accurate and cannot be circumvented and manipulated by the Khartoum regime as it used to do with the conventions. The lifting of the US sanctions is not a gift in the bowl of gold as they say. On the contrary, there is a high price to be paid to the Americans who expect it on an ongoing basis and under close scrutiny.

Washington said that some Sudanese officials are subject to separate sanctions. US officials said Sudan would remain on the US list of state sponsors of terrorism (with Iran and Syria), a situation that - according to Reuters - imposes a ban on arms sales and restrictions on US aid to it.

Prior to lifting the sanctions, President Trump exempted Sudan from the ban imposed on citizens from majority Muslim countries. The US Administration sources attributed the decision to drop Sudan from the ban to the country’s co-operation with the American government on national security and information-sharing, the Washington Post reported. Nevertheless, others have suggested the choice was in fact politically motivated. Ryan Grim, Washington bureau chief at The Intercept, wrote on Twitter: "Sudan getting dropped from the travel ban comes as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been lobbying hard for them in DC in exchange for mercenary support in Yemen".

Background of enmity of NIF for the US

During the summit of their arrogance in the 1990s, the Muslim Brotherhood movement, the Khartoum branch, which called itself the National Islamic Front, decided to declare enmity and hatred against the United States of America and carried out a hollow campaign of slogans saying that the destruction of America had come close and decided to harbor terrorist organizations, Jihad against the infidels, headed by America and was among the hosts of the National Islamic Front Osama bin Laden, the founders of Al Qaeda and Carlos the Jackal international terrorist the Venezuelan terrorist currently serving a life sentence in France for the 1975 murder of an informant for the French government and two French counter-intelligence agents. Furthermore, the war in southern Sudan was at its summit in the name of jihad against the infidels and the worse was still to come and that was when the National Islamic Front (NIF) elements were involved/ implicated in the explosions in the US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, which made US President Bill Clinton to impose economic and trade sanctions on the Khartoum regime, as well President Clinton ordered missile strike that hit al-Shifa pharmaceutical plant in Khartoum in 1997.

The enmity of the National Islamic Front of the United States continued in the form of chanting slogans of arrogance, intransigence and dodging, without taking into account the consequences of their actions. They remained at the top of their screech, saying that America had condemned its torment and that it was under the shoes of Omar al-Bashir. Examples of their hollow arrogance that harmed the Sudan and its people and the misfortune of the Muslim Brotherhood movement are that their memory is weak and they do not take the lessons and lessons from their previous fatal mistakes and they commit the same mistakes over and over again as they are said to be like the French royal family who repeat the same mistakes as the history tells.

Now that the conditions of their economic regime have deteriorated due to corruption and failure in the administration of the Sudan, Omar al-Bashir and his entourage tried to please the United States by all means to lift the trade and economic sanctions. They offered Washington all sorts of concessions and gave America intelligence about their Islamic accomplices and all the terrorists. They presented all that the US administration wanted. The result was the announcement by Donald Trump to lift the sanctions on Sudan, which made the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) officials dance as if they had achieved whatever they wanted to achieve despite the limited benefits of lifting US sanctions. This is more so in the presence of the epidemic of corruption and the systematic chronic nepotism that remaining steadily developing in the joints of the State ruled by the genocidal criminal fugitive from the international justice of Omar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir.

The lifting of US Sanctions on Sudan is not a magic stick to reduce the suffering of the Sudanese citizens.

Jokes

With the announcement of lifting US sanctions on Sudan, jokes, pranks and humorous anecdotes provoking laughter about the event emerged.

A satirical comic said that those who have been cheering and chanting for the lifting of sanctions on Sudan have been fasting for a decade but will break their fasting by a piece of an onion!

Another one made the following statement: Greetings to the jealous Sudanese citizen, who is keen and desirous of protecting his homeland’s security, dignity, sovereignty, history and cultural heritage. Furthermore, the sarcastic comments have come one after another in succession about the lifting of US sanctions on Sudan and over the unbridled rejoicing of members of the NCP ruling regime as follows:

• A popular tale from Darfur would apply to the position of the (NCP) regime from fierce Confrontation to total surrender and full submission. The popular story was said to have taken place under reign of the Sultan of Darfur, Sultan Ali Dinar. The story was about a thief who was caught red-handed steeling a sack of onions. Sultan Ali Dinar ordered the thief to choose one of three options: to eat all the onions or instead to endure one hundred lashes or to pay a fine of one hindered Dinars. The thief immediately opted for the eating of all the onions! He began eating but he soon gave up after just finishing eating four onions and requested to endure the one hundred lashes of whipping. However, after twenty floggings/ lashes and blood gushing from his wounds, he begged the executioners to stop the lashing ordeal and give him the last chance of paying the fine of one hundred dinars! Here an analogy could be drawn between the position of the onion thief and the elements in the National Congress Party (NCP) regime in their dealings with US sanctions and their overall positions against the American Administration and their current submission to orders and the harsh conditions America has demanded from the ruling regime of the (NCP)!
• Omar al-Bashir, during the height of his hostility and confrontation with the West said defiantly: (I would not be subject to America, Britain and France and all of them under his shoes)!
• One Sudanese said was not it logical for Omar al-Bashir and his entourage to surrender since 1997 to his American masters instead of entering the whole of Sudan into a losing battle against the countries of the world. Then he comes today scrambling and surrenders in subjugation and loss of Sudan’s economic and commercial investments in return for empty slogans after 20 lean years. Here, the tale of the onions thief applies to the right and the world is the best witness to it.
• When the Sudanese people were questioned in a public opinion survey about their views regarding lifting the US sanctions on Sudan one of the Sudanese citizens replied and said: Sanctions for me are such as the ritual tent of condolence, whether raised or not lifted in the end, the dead person will not return alive!

AS of the 1990s the NCP/NIF regime’s’ enmity for the United States of America (USA) and the Western countries that included Britain and France was at the height of the summit. Their slogans were calling for the destruction of America and chanted that America’s demise was imminent and their rule would include that country, America! All these slogans are now hollow without substance and went unheeded. Ironically, now they remain begging and jogging behind the gaining the satisfaction of America, which they considered to have been demised by all means.

The hostile chanting accompanied by flags written on them Slogans that America has come close to torment and demise. Furthermore, they chanted that the arrogance of America and the Great Satan in the streets of Khartoum. However, today the picture is quite different and there is no such a thing called singing or dancing. The elements of (NIF)/(NCP) regime surrendered to their once archenemy and they began praising US President Donald Trump!

The political project of political Islam and all the superstitions and empty words that almost nearly pierced and deafened the ears for 28 years should not fool the acumen of the Sudanese people again or continue playing the same game to mock at the simple people of the country. The people have known the truth the hard away and how much they have been betrayed and bamboozled for so long through exploiting the Islamic religion in order to mislead them. The poverty-stricken marginalised Sudanese people now have realised the hypocrisy and the corruption of the NIF/NCP regime hidden behind the mulberry leaf that they were covering has fell down apart and exposed everything hidden has been uncovered. And people would say that their supplications for the curse of Allah on the hypocrite liars who deceived the Sudanese public for decade in the name of Islam have responded to their calls and prayers. And then they were far from the teachings of the True Religion and marching with the accursed Satan.

The US Administration of the President Donald Trump in its attempt to converge and deal with the National Congress Party (NCP) regime in Khartoum by lifting the economic and trade sanctions on it recently under conditions, he seems as if he were betting on a losing horse. This is because the regime will not abide by the covenants and agreements. Moreover, the regime is callous and unrepentant. Worse, the elements in it do not take lessons from its mistakes. They continue committing the same crimes. Thus, soon after the lifting of the sanctions on Sudan, the regime had unleashed its security apparatus before the ink with which the Washington Executive Order (EO) had dried up. The infamous security apparatus, National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) has prevented travel the Sudanese political opposition leaders from travelling abroad to attend an important meeting to find ways and means to achieve just and sustainable peace in Sudan, a country ravaged by intransigent wars, poverty, cholera and the displacement of its citizens. Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) on Monday 9 of October 2017 prevented the deputy president of the opposition National Umma Party (NUP) Dr. Mariam al-Sadiq al-Mahdi from travelling to Paris to participate in the meetings of the rebel umbrella Sudan Revolutionary http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article63714

That is in addition to continuing persecution of Christians in Sudan: the arrest of eight church leaders. The Security forces, (NISS) have arrested eight church leaders in recent weeks, according to the World Watch Monitor. The arrests included Mahjoub Abotrin, a senior leader of the Church of Christ of Sudan, who was arrested from his home in Omdurman on September 22, 2017. In August 2017, seven prominent church leaders, including Rev. Kuwa Shimal, Rev. Ayyub Matan, Abdul Bagi Ali Abdul Rahman, Amin Hassan Abdul Rasoul, Yacoub Naway and Moussa Kodi were arrested. Sudan under the rule of the (NCP) regime is the fifth of the countries that most persecuting Christians in the world, according to the 2017 Open Doors Index.
https://www.worldwatchmonitor.org/2017/10/sudan-church-leader-interrogated-after-refusing-to-yield-to-state-takeover/
https://www.christiantoday.com/article/sudanese.government.arrests.churchs.leaders.in.attempt.to.take.over.denomination/115359.htm

The writer Ahmed Witchi - ????? - wrote by the following remarks about the US lifting of the sanctions on Sudan: (Slowly and slowly, the irrational joy of the lifting of the sanctions imposed on the Bashir regime by the US administration will be dispelled in part. Many observers have written a pessimism about the situation and optimistic about improving the situation. Despite my wish for improvement in my country, nevertheless the facts of reality, my wishes, will remain mere velvet and they will not see the light, pessimism is the master of the situation)! http://www.sudanjem.com/

Non-fulfilment of covenants is inherent in the ruling regime of the (NCP) led by the genocidal criminal, fugitive from the international justice, indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC), Omer Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir. A renunciation of agreements concluded with the parties remained over the decades inherent and a registered trademark with the descendants of the National Islamic Front (NIF) in Sudan.

Elwyn Brooks "E. B." White the American writer, contributor to The New Yorker magazine and a co-author of the English language style guide The Elements of Style, which is commonly known as "Strunk & White", has been quoted as saying: (There is nothing more likely to start disagreement among people or countries than an agreement).
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/e/ebwhite117807.html?src=t_agreement

Dr. Mahmoud A. Suleiman is an author, columnist and a blogger. His blog is http://thussudan.wordpress.com/