An eminent group of US and international organisations and prominent individuals involved with the cause for Sudan’s democratic transformation, have addressed a joint open letter to US President Joe Biden, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in anticipation of today’s Marches of the Millions, to mark the third anniversary of the revolution that overthrew the 30-year Al Bashir dictatorship in 2019, asserting that “the USA has a critical role to play in supporting the aspirations of the Sudanese people”.
In the letter published on Friday, the signatories point out that “all eyes are on Sudan as massive peaceful protests are expected across the country on December 19”. It highlights that “the revolution is still underway as the people of Sudan continue the struggle for genuine freedom, peace, justice and democracy. The USA has a critical role to play in supporting the aspirations of the Sudanese people.”
The signatories recommend that the US “apply real pressure on Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) to ensure the safety of the peaceful protestors”, and that the US should “issue statements and post messages on social media in advance of December 19 to convey that you are watching, you support the right to protest peacefully, and you will support consequences for those who impede the democratic process through violence, arrests or by any other means.”
They further recommend that the USA support legislation by Congress or issue an Executive Order that provides the necessary tools to impose consequences (targeted sanctions) on those in Sudan and in the region who impede the democratic process, commit atrocities or human rights abuses, or participate in and benefit from kleptocracy, and to engage with and build the capacity of Sudan’s Resistance Committees, the leaders of the peoples’ movement. The USA should also direct humanitarian or economic support through non-governmental channels until a legitimate civilian-led government is in place, the signatories say.
The letter also recommends that the USA should appoint a Special Envoy to Sudan, as “effective US engagement in Sudan requires fulltime, experienced, senior-level diplomatic engagement to support the people of Sudan as they address the crisis created by the coup and navigate a way forward to democratic transformation.”