US Ambassador Arrives In Sudan After 25-year Freeze
On Wed., John Godfrey, the first US ambassador to Sudan in 25 years, arrived in Khartoum. This is the latest rapprochement between the two countries after Sudan was removed from the US list of states sponsors of terrorism in 2020.
- On Wed., John Godfrey, the first US ambassador to Sudan in 25 years, arrived in Khartoum. This is the latest rapprochement between the two countries after Sudan was removed from the US list of states sponsors of terrorism in 2020.
- Godfrey was announced as the new ambassador in Jan. 2022 following Sudan's appointment of its first ambassador to Washington in two decades in May 2020.
- In 2019, former US Sec. of State Mike Pompeo vowed to appoint an ambassador to the embassy after mass protests led to the ousting of former Pres. Omar al-Bashir.
- In 1993, the US blacklisted and imposed sanctions on Sudan for alleged ties between the then-new Bashir's regime and terrorists. Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden reportedly lived there from 1992 to 1996.
- Despite the ongoing thaw, some tensions have emerged between the US and Sudan after armed forces seized power in Oct. 2021, ousting the transitional government and causing social unrest and economic problems.
- In July, the US Congress adopted a draft resolution condemning the so-called "military coup" and declaring support for the Sudanese people. Shortly after the takeover, the US suspended all aid to the country.
Sources: Al Jazeera, EastAfrican, Times Of Israel, and Dabanga Sudan.
- Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by Al-Monitor. Though the 2021 military coup has halted Sudan's democratic transition, there's an opportunity for Godfrey - with his vast experience in working in closed and transitioning countries - to make a real difference. With a firm strategy, he will be able to use American influence to organize and motivate a new political process.
- Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by Foreign Affairs. After decades of pressuring and standing up to Bashir, the US's strategy has seemingly fallen stagnant in the face of a military coup. Rather than asserting the same aggressive policy, Washington has taken a docile stance towards the military leaders when it should be supporting the pro-democracy forces that remain in Sudan. Hopefully, the new ambassador - which was long overdue - marks a turning point.
- Narrative C, as provided by Atlantic Council. The US must face the fact that recent setbacks in the Sudanese transition to democracy weren't a consequence of a supposed failure to engage in the country. In fact, they reveal a new international context in which the US is just one among several competing powers, most of them supportive of military rulers.