Home | News    Thursday 10 December 2020

U.S. Congress to pass new legislation over Sudan’s military economic activities

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Headquarters of the army-owned GIAD Motors Company in KhartoumDecember 9, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - U.S. Congress is on the verge to pass legislation supporting the democratic transition in Sudan that will tighten the control over the military-economic firms and force them to hand it over to a civilian-led government.

The ‘‘Sudan Democratic Transition, Accountability, and Fiscal Transparency Act of 2020’’ (SDTAFTA) is incorporated in the National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA) for the fiscal year 2021 which set budget levels for the US military.

The lower house of the U.S. Congress, House of Representatives, passed the NDAA on 8 December by a veto-proof majority (335-78 vote in favour) to prevent President Trump from vetoing it as he threatens because it incorporates a communication law that shields Twitter, Facebook and other tech giants from content liability.

The bill now will go to the Senate where the position of Republican Senators remains unclear. Also, it is not certain that the outgoing president will ultimately sign the popular budget as the House has demonstrated strong support to the legislation and ready to impose it against his will.

Introduced in March 2020, the Act authorizes the U.S. president to provide assistance to the Sudanese government to "strengthen civilian oversight of the Sudanese security and intelligence services and ensure that such services are not contributing to the perpetuation of conflict in Sudan and to the limitation of the civil liberties of all people in Sudan".

Also, it says that upon Sudan removal from the terror list, the U.S. efforts to restructure and cancel Sudan’s debt would be subjected to a certification by the US President providing that Sudan has taken steps to improve fiscal transparency.

This fiscal transparency includes the civilian control over the finances and assets of the military and security apparatus, transparent budget of these forces, identifying the military shares in all public and private companies and transferring it to the ministry of finance or any organism under civilian control

"Ceasing any involvement of the security and the intelligence services in the illicit trade in mineral resources, including petroleum and gold," further reads the law.

Suliman Baldo who serves as a Senior Policy Advisor for the Enough Project told the Sudan Tribune that the most important in this legislation that its seeks to establish a transparent mechanism to control the management of these military companies and prevent corruption.

"Within six months U.S. President will submit a report to the Congress on Sudan identifying individuals and entities that commit violations to hat violate this law and hinder the smooth democratic transition in Sudan," he further said.

The head of the Sovereign Council Abdel Fattah al-Burhan has resisted attempts by the government to control the economic activities of the army in Sudan. Also, he added the telecommunication sector to military control.

On the other hand, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) under the control of his deputy Mohamed Hamdan Daglo ’Hemetti’ continue to invest in the gold mining and seek to invest in other sectors such as the uranium in cooperation with Russian investors.

(ST)

For more details
U.S. House passes bill to support Sudan transitional government

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