Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Washington Sanctions Spoilers in Sudan’s Democratic Transition Process

Washington Sanctions Spoilers in Sudan’s Democratic Transition Process

Thursday, 8 December, 2022 - 06:45
Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at the J Street National Conference at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. (AP)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Wednesday that Washington is expanding its current visa restriction policy to hold to account military or political actors who undermine or delay the democratic process in Sudan.

“Just as we used our prior visa restrictions policy against those who undermined the former civilian-led transitional government, we will not hesitate to use our expanded policy against spoilers in Sudan's democratic transition process,” Blinken stated.

He also called on Sudan’s military leaders to cede power to civilians, respect human rights, and end violence against protestors.

Blinken urged representatives of Sudan’s civilian leaders to negotiate in good faith and place the national interest first.

He welcomed the signing by Sudanese parties of an initial framework political agreement on December 5, which he described as an essential first step toward forming a civilian-led transitional government and establishing constitutional arrangements for a transitional period.

“We support the plans by Sudanese civilian parties and the military to hold inclusive dialogues on outstanding issues before concluding a final agreement and transferring authority to a civilian-led transitional government,” the US official said, also calling for quick progress toward these ends.

Blinken affirmed his country will hold to account spoilers – whether military or political actors – who attempt to undermine or delay democratic progress.

Washington’s new restrictions will cover any current or former Sudanese officials or other individuals believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic transition in Sudan, including through suppressing human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the immediate family members of such persons.

According to Blinken, this action expands the Department’s tools to support Sudan’s democratic transition and reflects the US continued resolve to support the people of Sudan in their manifest desire for a responsive and responsible civilian-led government.

On Monday, Sudan’s ruling generals and the main pro-democracy group signed a framework deal until elections.

The deal pledges to establish a new, civilian-led transitional government to guide the country to elections and offers a path forward in the wake of Sudan's stalled transition to democracy following the October 2021 coup.

Editor Picks