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Advocacy group calls for new strategy addressing “Sudan’s violent kleptocracy”

President Omer al-Bashir at the joint Saudi-Sudanese drills 09 April 2017 (SUNA Photo)

April 25, 2017 (WASHINGTON) - The advocacy group, Enough Project, has called for a new U.S.-led international effort to addresses the root causes of Sudan’s “violent kleptocracy” which is accused of looting the country’s resources and use of brutal violence against civilians and human rights abuses.

“The system of rule by al-Bashir’s regime in Sudan is best characterised as a violent kleptocracy, as its primary aims are self-enrichment and maintaining power indefinitely. To pursue these aims,” says the 64-page report released on Tuesday.

“the regime relies on a variety of tactics, including patronage and nepotism, the threat and use of political violence, and severe repression to co-opt or neutralise opponents and stifle dissent,” it further pointed.

The report comes nearly two months before an awaited decision by the American administration over the possible partial lift of economic embargo on the east African country imposed since twenty years.

In a hearing before a U.S. Congress human rights commission on 4 April, rights experts called to delay the permanent revocation of Sudan’s sanction so, it can be used as a form of pressure on the government of President Omer al-Bashir to improve human rights in the country.

The report states that to more effectively support peace, human rights, and good governance in Sudan, (U.S.) policymakers should construct a new policy approach that attempts to “counter and ultimately dismantle Sudan’s violent kleptocracy”.

“Concerned policymakers from the United States and around the world should initiate a strategy of smarter financial pressures and increased accountability that addresses the root causes of Sudan’s violent kleptocracy,” said John Prendergast, Founding Director at the Enough Project.

He stressed that effective pressure on the Sudanese president and his inner circle can be successful by “advancing important national and global security goals, such as safeguarding the integrity of the global financial system, combating corruption, deterring future support for terrorism, and strengthening human rights”.

To explain the corruption and brutal violence in Sudan, a Senior Advisor at the Enough Project, Suliman Baldo, said the “inner circle in power has privatized the country’s natural wealth, its oil, gold, and land” adding to protect their illicit gains and to ensure the survival of the regime, “those who rule Sudan devote disproportionate resources to a bloated security and intelligence sector, and neglect essential social services”.

Unlike other repressive regimes, the Sudanese regime can resort to most extreme tactics it can muster “including ethnic cleansing, the use of starvation as a method of war, and the indiscriminate bombardment of civilian populations,” emphasised Omer Ismail, Senior Advisor at the Enough Project.

The advocacy group calls on President Trump to appoint a new a new special envoy for Sudan and South Sudan and a strong U.S. diplomatic engagement with Sudan to achieve peace in Sudan.

Also, the group proposes to put pressure on “Sudan’s violent kleptocracy” through a strategy of financial pressure and increased accountability. Further, they point to the need to engage Sudan’s political allies and financial supporters in the Gulf countries, Russia and China to pressure the Sudanese government to work toward a lasting peace.

(ST)