Sudan and the Trump Administration: Great Expectations?

By Scott Morgan

To say that the transition from the Obama Administration to the Trump Administration has been chaotic would be a major understatement. It was also unprecedented in American History as well.

One of the aspects of the chaos just happens to be Sudan. In one of the final moves of his Administration President Obama decided to lift Sanctions that were then in place against the African Country. This move garnered copious amounts of criticism among Human Rights Defenders and others who are concerned about the Human Rights Climate in the Country.

Specifically over 100,000 people were forcefully displaced within Darfur. Why there is silence over what is occurring in that region as compared to during the Administration of George W Bush is astounding. The Sudanese Air Force continues its indiscriminate Bombing Campaign in the Nuba Mountains and in Blue Nile. Just this week, a Czech Missionary Petr Jasek was sentenced to life in Prison for raising funds to assist a young Darfuri who needed Medical Treatment. His conviction was for spying.

Despite these facts, the Obama Administration felt that the Bashir Regime made enough change to improve its Human Rights Climate and improvements in fighting terrorism like stopping shipments of arms to all sides engaged in conflict in Libya to warrant a reprieve. Plus, Joseph Kony is still haunting the Central African Republic and other countries in the region. The Khartoum Government has been documented of supporting his movement in the field and has used them in some Operations in the Southern Part of Darfur. Some feel that this occurred after heavy lobbying by Countries such as Qatar and Ethiopia which have their own motivations to see these punishments lifted. Another interesting fact is that these Sanctions needed to be lifted to further facilitate Chinese Investment in the effort to modernize and upgrade the aging and crumbling Railroad Infrastructure in the Country.

Another point to ponder is why has this decision created some interesting schisms? Israel is supportive of the sanctions being lifted while the Enough Project has stated its displeasure in the idea of any sanctions being lifted at all. Meanwhile, some of the other think tanks in Washington have generally been supportive of these sanctions being lifted. Could this be another sign of the elitism of some of the Establishment here along the Potomac? It appears to be the case.

One of the most interesting aspects of the proposed Sanctions relief is that they are provisional for the next six months. Therefore, sometime in July, the Trump Administration has to decide whether or not to make the lifting of sanctions permanent. But recent events may show that the new Administration may not be as friendly to Khartoum as they hope.

The Executive Order recently issued by the Trump Administration regarding the prevention of Sudanese Nationals not holding Green Cards can be cited as evidence that things with Sudan may be scrutinized further. There are two reasons for this:

  1. Concern over the accuracy of the information in Government Databases regarding those nationals. 
  2. An Executive Order dating from 2015 chastising Sudan and the other six Countries for their lack of providing the US with timely and quality of Intelligence. 

So why did the Obama Administration change their minds a year later?

Donald Trump used that order to make his controversial decision regarding the Pause from where Terrorism is either taking place or has been an extension of national policy. Whatever actions, the Obama Administration may have conducted, took place without the scrutiny of the Media. Mr. Trump being a Businessman has been transparent with some of his actions and has faced serious and vocal opposition from his critics.

Clearly, our policy towards Sudan has been muddled. The acts by the Authorities in Khartoum against the Christians in the Southern Part of the Country are not to be taken into consideration due to emphasis for improving a Nation’s Crumbling Infrastructure. Outside Actors have lobbied the US Government to loosen these restrictions so they can benefit economically. The willingness to ignore this and other acts are a detriment to US Foreign Policy and may give the implications that instead of standing up for those being abused, Washington’s silence and complicity can be purchased.

(Image: Nubian Pyramids in Sudan - Google Images)

[The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Dissecting Society]


  1. If Trump is really the president of change he will sanction Sudan for what she is doing to Christians and South Sudan. No more persecution to our Christian brothers and sisters!


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