The United States Credibility and Sudan

Following the September 11 terrorist attacks, US foreign policy has transformed completely. According to Steve Jones, the most noticeable change is its focus on preventive action. In other words, since 2001, the American foreign policy is mainly centred around terrorism.

The Bush administration declared war on terror in 2001. Consequently, it invaded Afghanistan under the pretext of combating terrorism and Iraq, on weapons of mass destruction.

The Bush administration promised democracy and justice to Iraqi and Afghani people. Unfortunately, the chaotic situation in Iraq and Afghanistan is still going on. As it is known to all, more than two million people were killed only in Iraq, and on top of that, it is in a state of collapse. The situation in Afghanistan is similar. Due to these wars, the United States has lost its credibility on the international stage.

The issue that concerns Sudan is that the US played a significant role in the separation of Sudan. In other words, it supported the Southern Sudanese in gaining their independence from the North. Nevertheless, it did not assist them in nation-building and the state institutionalisation. Grievously, since the civil war broke out in South Sudan in December 2013, the US did not play any assigned role for resolving the ongoing crisis in South Sudan, particularly in Obama’s period.

Early this year, Trump, the newly elected president of the US and his administration have cut back the aid it provided to the new state, instead of helping the South Sudan to solve its current crisis. Accordingly, this aggravated the situation in South Sudan.

Additionally, the United States had promised to depose Sudan from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, if it signed a comprehensive peace agreement with the Southern armed groups, which Khartoum signed. Sadly though, the US has not fulfilled its promises.

US’s Credibility and Sanctions on Sudan

The Sudanese embassy’s staff in New York were delighted when the resolutions (13067 -13412) had been announced to lift the sanctions imposed on the Sudan since 1997 for six months. Plus, the Sudanese regime was satisfied with the decisions.

Indeed, the decisions above are related to the situations in Libya and South Sudan. The Western countries, particularly the US are very keen to maintain stability in Libya and South Sudan. As well as, they are eager to fight with the terrorist groups in Libya by using Sudan as a base for their operations.

In the case of sanctions, the US postulated that; “Sudan will improve access for aid groups, stop supporting rebels in neighbouring South Sudan, cease the bombing of insurgent territory and cooperate with American intelligence agents”.[1]

Blunderingly, the Trump administration postponed the decision to lift sanctions against Sudan for three months in 12.07.2017. The Sudanese government was completely shocked and surprised by this ruling. Accordingly, Sudan’s foreign minister Ibrahim Ghandour asserted that; “The government of Sudan has fully complied with all US’s demands for lifting the sanctions”.

In conclusion, the US will probably lift the sanctions on Sudan beginning next October since Sudan will play a significant role in the new US-Africa strategy. Besides, the US is eager to maintain its credibility in the international stage.


[1] Jeffrey Gettleman, “United States to Lift Sudan Sanctions”, The New York Times, 13.01.2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/13/world/africa/sudan-sanctions.html, (Erişim Tarihi: 18.07.2017).

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İbrahim NASSIR
1988 yılında Sudan’ın Kassala şehrinde doğmuştur. İlkokulu ve liseyi Kassala’da okuduktan sonra Sudan – Türkiye arasındaki anlaşma kapsamında lisans eğitimini almak için 2008 yılında Türkiye’ye gelmiştir. 2013 yılında Türkiye Polis Akademisi Güvenlik Bilimleri Fakültesi’nden lisans derecesini almıştır. Türkiye–Afrika ilişkileri konusunda bir çok panel ve konferensa konuşmacı olarak katılmıştır. Uluslararası alanda bir çok akademik çalışmada bulundu. Ulusal düzeyde çeşitli radyo ve televizyon programlarına katılmıştır. Yüksek Lisansını Yıldırım Beyazıt Üniversitesi’nde Siyaset Bilimi ve Uluslararası İlişkileri Bölümü’nde yapmaktadır. Afrika, Ortadoğu ve İran Çalışmaları başlıca ilgi alanlarını oluşturmaktadır. İyi derecede İngilizce ve Türkçe bilmektedir.