By Guest Writer, Scott Morgan, Africa and National Security Analyst, Red Eagle Enterprises
Last week, October the Trump Administration announced the permanent lifting of economic sanctions on Sudan that had been lifted conditionally by President Obama as he packed his bags in the Oval Office. This decision was foreshadowed in September by two announcements regarding changes in Immigration Policy towards Sudan by the United States. Those changes had people in Khartoum dancing and activists in the US fearful about what was to come. With good reason, it turned out.
First, on September 18, was the mind-boggling decision by the US Department of Homeland Security to end the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) that Sudan currently has by November 2, 2018. Ending TPS will send those who are currently facing orders of detention back to Sudan. This means that Homeland Security feels that there is no undue risk of harm to people being sent back to Sudan from civil disorder, natural disasters or other means (like genocide and jihad?).
The second decision, which swiftly followed, was even more breathtaking. This was the removal of Sudan from the updated travel ban. This update, which was issued on September 24, has caused some consternation. There is evidence that the Government of the UAE lobbied for Sudan to be removed from this ban.
So what happens next?
There are two clear losers in this situation. Both of those on the losing end seem to have made two errors. They have placed their trust in Washington, that it will take the proper action when it comes to justice. And they have run afoul of (been run over by) the public relations machine that Khartoum has in Washington and that is probably bankrolled by the Gulf States. What has taken place shows how well-practiced Sudan is at the craft of outmaneuvering its adversaries.
The first loser is the human rights and religious freedom defender community. Whether documenting abuses currently taking place against the Church in the Omdurman area or atrocities committed in either Darfur or the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile State this community had hope in the new administration in Washington. It had hope that the Trump Administration would not cave into the propaganda that Khartoum spews and the State Department often confirms. But the actions that took place in September and October show that when it comes to Sudan human rights, concerns may not be heeded in Washington unless Congress intervenes. There may be a glimmer of hope that Congress will continue to oppose these actions. U.S. Representative James McGovern (D-MA), co-chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, has already registered his disappointment.
The other loser is The Republic of South Sudan. If sanctions are completely lifted against Khartoum, as many expect, and a full restoration of diplomatic relation occurs, then the process of isolating Juba and the current leadership of President Salva Kiir may be underway.
It could even be framed (appropriate word) that the South Sudanese would have no one but themselves to blame if Khartoum and the South Sudan armed rebel combatants (AKA “the opposition”) succeed in removing the current President. Bashir, in conjunction with the South Sudanese armed rebel combatants, particularly the former Vice President and serial mass murderer, Riek Machar, the international media, and the UN, has manipulated events to place himself in the light of a “peacemaker” that can resolve the crisis. But the trail of dead bodies in the region that he has left behind for decades say otherwise.
So now, after October 6, 2017, We the People of the United States should realize that Arab money along with sleazy, unethical lobbyists on K Street, and Dhimmis in both the US Embassy in Khartoum and at the State Department in Washington, DC convinced the President to lift the sanctions against Sudan.
Such a move should never have happened without some stringent conditions issued by Washington, or without massive change in the Sudan government (the government that the late leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army and first President of the autonomous South Sudan Dr. John Garang pronounced “too deformed to reform”).
The suffering will continue unabated in the region. The United States will be complicit. All for the art of the deal.