By Scott Morgan
One of the most interesting Foreign Policy Decisions by the Obama Administration is the relationship with Sudan. The first major Foreign Policy Decision was to conduct a Comprehensive Policy Review towards it. This action at the time raised a fair amount of concern among those activists working on the country.
At that time Sudan was considered to be a State Sponsor of Terrorism (having been initially placed on this list back in 1993). Osama Bin Laden resided there from 1996 to 1998. After the attacks on the US Embassies. in Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam, US Forces struck an alleged Chemical Plant outside the Capital of Khartoum (The Guardian, Strike one, October 2, 2001). The Country was also allowing Hamas to send arms to Gaza Strip.
In September 2004, it was accused of committing Genocide in Darfur by then Secretary of State Colin Powell, before the UN Security Council, although this was done in spite of a legal recommendation that the claim was inconclusive. This was seen by activists at the time as a huge benefit by the Bush Administration.
Another concern is South Sudan. Reluctantly, Sudan signed the Comprehensive Peace Accords with the African Tribes in the South. In 2011 the New Nation of South Sudan joined the International Community. Since Independence Day the authorities in Khartoum have maintained close ties with Vice President Riek Machar. This was a factor in the recently concluded South Sudanese Civil War.
Repressing Christian minorities in the South of the Country before a Referendum on Independence succeeded. The Repression continues to this very day in the Country. In recent months a series of Churches have been destroyed under orders of Sharia Law. One can remember that the most recent cause célèbre, that of the plight of Meriam Ibrahim Ishag, caused Washington to rise when she was threatened with execution in 2014. Last year, she was able to emigrate to the United States. Another part of Sudan where this is a major issue is in the Nuba Mountains region.
|A Church destroyed by the Sudanese|
A different area of concern is the current struggle against ISIS/Daesh. It has been revealed, in declassified and translated Sudanese Government Documents, that Sudan may be misleading the US when it comes to Counterterrorism efforts. The ultimate goal of the Bashir regime is Sanctions relief. The successor to President Obama will face enormous Foreign Policy Challenges during their first term of office.
Despite its wishes, the sanctions currently in place against Khartoum should not be lifted until it improves it internal human rights record and it can be confirmed that it is no longer sponsoring terrorism against any US ally or interest.
[The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Dissecting Society]