Sudan: US Congress Approves Resolution Condemning Military Coup in Sudan

Washington — The US Congress on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a draft resolution condemning the Oct. 25 military coup and expressing support for the Sudanese people. It also demands that the military junta lift the state of emergency and put the country back on the path of democratic transition.

Resolution H.Con.Res.59, presented in November 2021 and adopted Thursday with 417 votes in favor and only seven against, “condemns the October 25, 2021 coup in Sudan” and “stands with the people of Sudan to their democratic aspirations. It “also recognizes the prime minister and his cabinet as the constitutional leaders of the transitional government of Sudan.”

The vote coincided with US President Joe Biden’s controversial visit to Saudi Arabia for talks with Gulf state leaders, and also follows shortly after John Godfrey was confirmed as the first full US ambassador to Sudan in 25 year.

The draft resolution calls on the military junta to immediately release all those detained in connection with the coup and “return to constitutional rule under the transitional constitution as a starting point for negotiations with civilians towards civilian rule. complete”.

It further demands that the junta “lift the state of emergency, including the full restoration of all means of communication; remove all roadblocks and checkpoints, and order the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and RSF to withdraw and abide by the rules to ensure that security forces respect the right to peaceful protest and to stand for accountable to those who have used excessive force and committed other abuses through a transparent and credible process; cease all attempts to change the civilian composition of the cabinet, the Sovereign Council and other government bodies; and transfer the leadership of the Sovereign Council to a civilian member of the Sovereign Council in accordance with the transitional constitution”.

“Targeted sanctions”

The draft resolution calls on the US Secretary of State “to immediately identify coup leaders, their accomplices and facilitators to consider targeted sanctions; urge the junta leaders to immediately return to the rule of law as enshrined in the transitional constitution; and monitor, discourage and deter any effort by outside parties to support the coup and the military junta”.

It further urges the Secretary of State “to coordinate with the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development and other federal government agencies to suspend all non-humanitarian bilateral assistance to Sudan until recovery the transitional constitutional order; the Treasury Department to use the voice and vote of the United States in international financial institutions to suspend all actions related to non-humanitarian loans or debt relief in Sudan until constitutional order is restored of transition ; and the United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations to ensure the United Nations Security Council is seized of the matter at all times; and works with the Troika to urge members of the international community to join in these actions of the United States.”

Finally, the draft resolution calls on international partners to join U.S. efforts to impose targeted sanctions on the junta and other coup accomplices, as well as to “monitor, deter, and deter any efforts by outside parties to support the junta, and urge junta leaders to return to the rule of law as enshrined in the transitional constitution. »

It also calls on the international community to suspend Sudan’s participation in all regional multilateral organizations “until Sudan returns to constitutional order under the transitional constitution.”

US-Sudan relations

After a sharp thaw in US-Sudan relations following the overthrow of Al Bashir’s regime and a move towards a democratic transition, relations between Washington and Khartoum were strained following the military coup of 25 last October.

The United States suspended all aid to Sudan after the coup, stating that “the United States is suspending assistance from the $700 million in emergency relief credits from the Sudan Economic Support Fund. These funds were intended to support the country’s democratic transition as we assess the next step for Sudan programming.

On May 11, the U.S. Senate passed a draft resolution “to condemn the military coup in Sudan and support the people of Sudan,” and the House of Commons also unanimously passed the non-binding resolution by vote. quickly without any objections.

On March 23, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously approved a draft resolution condemning the military coup in Sudan and calling on the US administration to impose sanctions on those responsible for the coup.

The draft resolution came two days after the US Treasury imposed sanctions on central reserve paramilitary forces (popularly known as Abu Teira) which are under police command, in accordance with the global Magnitsky Act* on serious violations of human rights. human rights.

The Treasury cited the excessively violent crackdown on peaceful pro-democracy protests by security forces as the main reason.

Numerous calls have been made for targeted US sanctions against the Chairman of Sudan’s Sovereignty Council, General Abdelfattah El Burhan, and Vice President Mohamed “Hemeti” Dagalo for their involvement in serious human rights violations in the after the coup.

In March, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) yesterday announced sanctions against the Sudanese Central Reserve Police (CRP, popularly known as Abu Tira) for serious human rights abuses. The Treasury cited the excessively violent crackdown on peaceful pro-democracy protests by security forces as the main reason.

Last week, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced sanctions against “Sudanese companies linked to Hamas”, with a financier, Hisham Younis Yahia Qafisheh, who allegedly “operated and managed at least two Sudan-based companies, Agrogate Holding and Al Rowad Real Estate Development, to generate revenue for the Palestinian group.”

Bilateral agreement

In November 2020, Sudan and the United States signed a bilateral settlement of claims to resolve “default judgments and claims based on allegations that Sudan’s previous regime supported acts of terrorism.” According to the agreement, Sudan was to pay $335 million, in addition to the approximately $72 million already paid, to be distributed to victims of terrorism.

Sudan’s removal from the SST list, enacted in the final days of the Donald Trump administration, was contingent on a bilateral claims settlement signed in November 2020 to resolve “default judgments and claims based on allegations that the Sudan’s previous regime supported acts of terrorism”. Sudan had to pay $335 million, in addition to some $72 million already paid, to be distributed to victims of terrorism.

In exchange, after paying compensation to the families of the victims of the USS Cole destroyer bombing in Yemen in 2000, and the 1998 bombing of the American embassies in Dar El Salaam in Tanzania and Nairobi in Kenya, the judgments default and claims against Sudan in U.S. courts would be dismissed, and Sudan’s sovereign immunities under U.S. law would be restored to those enjoyed by countries that have never been designated by the United States as a sponsoring state of terrorism (SST).

*The Global Magnitsky Act of 2016 authorizes the US government to sanction foreign government officials around the world who are considered to be human rights abusers. Sanctions may include freezing their assets and barring them from entering the United States.

About Michael S. Montanez

Check Also

Republicans in Congress introduce bill to restrict abortion nationwide

WASHINGTON — Republican members of the House and Senate on Tuesday introduced a bill banning …