Home | Comment & Analysis    Saturday 5 November 2016

Obama Disappoints hopes of al-Bashir for rapprochement with the US


Obama Thwarts Omar al-Bashir’s Quest to achieve normalization of relations with the United States

By Mahmoud A. Suleiman

As the US Presidential Election Campaign Nearing the end and the beginning of the ballot to choose the next President, we find the world attaches many hopes and affairs to the outcome results of those elections, given the importance of the United States in international politics and global decision-making. Thus, the National Congress Party (NCP) Government in Sudan is not an exception in any way! The oddity and wonders of events leading to the synchronization of the outgoing US President Barak Obama’s decision to extend economic sanctions on Sudan remain puzzling. Furthermore, the coincidence of that with the race to the White House nearing the end sheds many meanings. As if, the departing US President tried advising to his successor to the White House about the way dealing with the regime of the NCP in Khartoum. His advice indicated that his successor should not leave the rope on the boat loose for al-Bashir to wreak havoc on the land of Sudan killing, displacing, using chemical weapons against children and civilians of women, the infirm and the elderly and recommit the crimes of genocide as it did in 2004 and beyond. President Barak Obama continues exposing the mortal sins of Omer Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir and his criminal entourage with the view to brief the next US Presidential Candidate who would be the next US President by next week; precisely on November 8, 2016. In order to show his successor how to deal with the ruling regime in Khartoum, Obama has decided injuring Omer al-Bashir in the kill off through extending the economic sanctions, consecutive nineteen years in the row since 1997. It is noteworthy that as soon as the President of the US Barak Obama released the decision to extend economic sanctions on Khartoum, the Bank of Sudan floated the value of the Sudanese pound. A floating exchange rate or fluctuating exchange rate is a type of exchange-rate regime in which a currency’s value is allowed to fluctuate in response to foreign-exchange market mechanisms. Moreover, the Manager of the bank announced and promised that he will reward the Sudanese expatriates if they returned sums of their savings in US dollars to Sudan and at the same time that would cover the deficit suffered by the Sudanese economy. Nevertheless, the Sudanese budget deficit is attributed to the accumulated crises because of the intransigence of the ruling regime and as well as the systematic government corruption. The NCP regime destroyed the sources of production and national income, such as the Gezira Irrigation Agricultural Project and Managil irrigated Agricultural Project, Sudan Airways lines (AKA Sudan air), maritime transport lines, Sudan Railways and as well as the oil output budget which has vanished with the cessation of the South Sudan in 2011. As far as the gold extracted from the Aariyab region in eastern Sudan mines nobody knows much about it fate. Thus, nothing wrong happened about it as they say but just went unheeded with the wind of corruption!
Hike of Prices of Basic Commodities in Sudan is underway

Hours later of the US President Announcement of renewal of financial sanctions on Sudan, the (NCP) regime will apply new price increases on gasoline prices and fuel in general.

The Ministry of Finance and Commerce will process the strategic inventory of strategic stocks and stock companies. Furthermore, the NCP regime, and against the backdrop of rising prices and rising commodity prices will activate the lust and greed for wealth of the ruling regime affiliated religion traders and brokers to increase the prices of bread and medicines as submission to the terms of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The ultimate result will be higher prices of consumer goods,
Food, Medicines and Drugs, Transportation tariff, Electricity, Water, gas and so on.
Moreover, everything one can think of will hike sky high to the detriment of the majority-dispossessed poor of Sudan. As expected, the proactive arbitrary arrest of activists to quell any protests that may result because of the commodity increases similar to the crackdown of the September 2013 is likely. More pressure on the citizens’ daily living is the potential. The greed of brokers affiliated to the NCP regime would increase for sale of land and property belonged to the State to potential creditors would continue unabated. Moreover, more wealth for the mafia of the National Congress Party (NCP) regime by transferring the blood and sweat money of the disenfranchised people of Sudan to increase the balances in their bank accounts abroad. The infamous National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) is expected to be at high alert for any protest especially in the wake of the sit-ins of the gallant people of East Jiraif locality along with the renewed Sudanese medical doctors’ strike for the non-implementation of the (NCP) regime for the terms agreed between it and the doctors’ Union.

On the other side, US President Barack Obama torpedoed any hope for the Sudanese regime in the rapprochement with Washington during his tenure, which is nearing completion, political analysts said. The decision by US President Barack Obama to extend sanctions on Sudan for an additional year formed a new setback to the efforts of Khartoum in the normalization of relations with Washington. Observers rule out that the Sudanese-US relations are going to improve in the next administration, whether under the Presidency of Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. Obama announced the extension of the sanctions imposed by his country on Sudan for an additional year, which, starting from Thursday, November 3, 2016. Moreover, Obama said stressing that the policies pursued by the Khartoum continue to pose a "significant threat" to the national security of the United States. However and according to Radio Tamazuj, News Crossing Borders that in a separate statement released on Monday the US embassy said the one-year extension of sanctions was purely technical and that the sanctions could still be eased. The statement continues, “It was part of a routine, annual process that does not prejudice the ability of the president to provide sanctions relief at any point in the future," the embassy said.
Minimising the impact of the decision made by President Obama
It seems that the official spokesperson for the US White House tried to mitigate the impact of the decision by President Barack Obama on the National Congress Party government, by saying that the decision is only a technical step and it does not attempt to stand up against President Obama’s further decision to modify the resolution in the future!. Nevertheless, analysts indicate that It’s just an attempt to reassure the ruling regime of the NCP on extending economic sanctions on Sudan.

On the other hand, the Huffington Post news indicated that the U.S. Sanctions against Khartoum renewed By President Obama but His State Department Works Hard To Minimize The Significance Of His Action. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eric-reeves/us-sanctions-against-khar_b_12751096.html
Africa Review reported on the subject by saying that the US has extended economic sanctions imposed on Sudan in 1997 for another year. In a message published on the White House website, President Barack Obama notified the US congress of his decision to continue the implementation of the sanctions.
Africa Review reported the text of the statement “The Sudan emergency is to continue in effect beyond November 3, 2013,” President Obama told the Congress. “The crisis constituted by the actions and policies of the Government of Sudan that led to the declaration of a national emergency in Executive Order 13067 of November 3, 1997, and the expansion of that emergency in Executive Order 13400 of April 26, 2006, and with respect to which additional steps were taken in Executive Order 13412 of October 13, 2006, has not been resolved,” President Obama pointed out.

Reacting to the news, Sudanese government condemned the decision, saying it was a big threat to peace and social security of the country. The scapegoat finding kind of Blaming Somebody Else (BSE) remains master of the situation. The spokesperson of Omar al-Bashir puts the blame for the failures of governance in Sudan to the economic sanctions imposed by the US administration on Khartoum while everyone knows for fact that the wars, corruption and tyranny are the causes of disasters that hit the country citizens in the kill off their daily lives. Sudan’s troubles caused by the ruling regime of the NCP through tyranny, corruption and wars will remain unabated with either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump because they have become an integral part of the ideology of the global Muslim Brotherhood Movement (MBM) branch in Khartoum. Moreover, of course, as the habit of the ruling regime of the NCP members they do not care about the disastrous effects of those decisions of floating the price of the Sudanese pound on the Sudanese citizen who remains burdened by poverty and high cost of living.

“The government has rejected the decision of the American President to renew the American unilateral sanctions against Sudan for another year, as well as the justifications given by the US President for renewing these sanctions,” the spokesman of the Sudanese ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Abubakr Alsidiq, told journalists in Khartoum on Thursday. http://www.africareview.com/news/Obama-extends-US-sanctions-on-Sudan/979180-2056638-486bjhz/index.html
Sudan has been under the US trade ban since November 3 1997, during former US president Bill Clinton’s administration because the Sudanese regime was thought in support for Islamic militant groups, and harbouring terrorism in the early nineties of the last century. Of the most prominent symbols embraced included Osama bin Laden, the founder and head of the Islamist group Al-Qaeda, was killed in Pakistan on May 2, 2011, at the hands of US Special Forces. And Washington reinforced its sanctions on the Sudan in 2007 as a response to the way the National Congress Party (NCP) regime dealt with the people of the western part of Sudan and in particular in the Darfur. The Darfur region continued witnessing a government waged proxy war of attrition employing the notorious infamous Janjaweed militias since 2003 fighting the forces of the armed rebellion factions. President Obama said in a statement that "the actions and policies of the government of Sudan continue to pose an extraordinary and significant threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States." Observers believe that the US president’s decision to extend sanctions on Khartoum constitutes a major setback to the efforts of the Sudanese regime to normalize relations with the United States.

The (NCP) regime President, Omer Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir sent during the last two years, many delegations to Washington, conducted several meetings with lawmakers in the House and Senate, but they apparently did not succeed in changing US policy toward Sudan, which has been followed over 19 years. Those following the events pointed out that the move of the Sudanese regime toward Washington did not come from a vacuum, but also shaded by signals provided by the White House administration, in particular the recent visit to Khartoum by the US Special Envoy Donald Booth to Sudan and South Sudan. Furthermore, the US administration has partially eased the sanctions, which allowed US companies to export communications technology to Sudan, and opened the way for the Sudanese to obtain visas to enter the US territory from the embassy in Khartoum, and along with exceptions in the agricultural field. However, the Observers believe that despite the recent tough stance of US President Barack Obama about Khartoum, but the latter will not spare any effort to try again and make further concessions to satisfy the American side. The US sanctions on Sudan, led to deepening the economic crisis. The data indicate that the US sanctions cost Sudan nearly $ 4 billion per year.

Sudan suffers, since the secession of South Sudan and forming its own state, a dramatic decline in the economic situation, further complicated with the current global economic situation. This prompted the Sudanese regime to reconsider its foreign policy where it sought rapprochement with the Arab countries, especially Saudi Arabia, declaring outwardly break with Iran, and even making muted remarks of considering harmonious relations toward Israel to the extent that some of (NCP) officials raised the idea of normalization with it. Thus, the Sudanese officials in every international forum expressed keenness to emphasize that they are interested in re-bridging relations with Washington.

Moreover, what might disappoint the ambitions of Khartoum, experts believe all that do not mean the next US administration, whether the leader would be Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump Khartoum will not see a shift in its favour. In this context, observers believe and expect that Hillary Clinton to remain faithful to the option of carrot and stick in her dealings with the Sudanese regime. This is more so given the fact that the candidate for the Democrats does not bear friendly feelings towards the regime in Khartoum that launched attacks at her during her tenure in the Foreign Ministry and described her as Nazi. In 2011, Hillary Clinton accused the Sudanese regime of undermining the stability of the State of the South Sudan, she said at the time her intention was finding the ways to tighten the pressure on it.

Moreover, before that in 2009, the candidate for the presidency of the United States, Hillary Clinton considered that Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir bears sole responsibility for "each death" happening in the Darfur Internally Displaced (IDPs) camps. The dispute, which is going on in Darfur, the death of thousands and the displacement of 2.5 million people living in camps, dependent on aid from the international community. As in the case of Donald Trump if he has succeeded in winning the US presidency, analysts believe that he is likely to take a more radical path toward Khartoum. The US Presidential hopeful Donald Trump people knew him as staunchly hostile towards political Islam, which has had a crucial role in the success of the putschist Génocidaire Omer Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir’s ill-fated military coup in June 1989.

Mamnoon Hussain is a Pakistani businessperson and conservative politician is quoted as saying “My fear is that if we don’t take remedial steps to control polio in the tribal areas, we will be faced with international sanctions”.

Dr. Mahmoud A. Suleiman is an author, columnist and a blogger. His blog is http://thussudan.wordpress.com/

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