In a Senate Foreign Relations committee’s hearings, Chairman Bob Menendez said that the U.S. must respond swiftly and decisively to the crisis in Sudan. The October 25th coup d’etat in Sudan are cause for alarm, Bob Menedez said. In the days to come, the Congress will act.
In a Senate Foreign Relations committee’s hearings to examine Sudan’s imperiled transition, focusing on United States policy in the wake of the October 25th coup, Chairman Bob Menendez said that the U.S. must respond swiftly and decisively to the crisis in Sudan.
Robert Menendez (born January 1, 1954) is an American lawyer and politician serving as the senior United States senator from New Jersey, a seat he has held since 2006. A member of the Democratic Party, he was first appointed to the U.S. Senate by Governor Jon Corzine, and chaired the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations from 2013 to 2015, and again since 2021.
Chairman Menendez’s Remarks
Below is an abridged version of Chairman Menendez’s remarks.
“Let me thank our witnesses for joining us today to discuss the crisis in Sudan. East Africa stands at a precipice. Three years ago, fragile transitions in Ethiopia and Sudan were once cause for cautious optimism. Today, conflict in Ethiopia — including the deadly siege of Tigray — and the October 25th coup d’etat in Sudan are cause for alarm.
In April 2019, the Sudanese people peacefully and tenaciously ousted indicted war criminal Omar al-Bashir, Sudan’s brutal dictator for 30 years. Despite a violent response from his security services, through five months of sustained, widespread protests, the people of Sudan succeeded in their demands for a transition to democracy.
Al-Bashir’s fall, and subsequent progress on the transition, paved the way for me and other members of this body to take legal action to remove Sudan from the State Sponsor of Terrorism List, and to support an overall thaw of relations between the United States and Sudan.
The military’s brazen October coup has put that progress in jeopardy. The military’s arrest and detention of Prime Minister Hamdok and other civilian officials, and the killing of dozens of protestors advocating for a return to civilian rule, has made it clear that military actors have little interest in ceding power and no fear of consequences for their actions.
The United States, regional actors, and the international community must respond swiftly and decisively to help the Sudanese people put their country back on a democratic trajectory.
Despite having publicly committed to dialogue to resolve the current crisis, the Sudanese military continues to kill, torture, abuse and detain protestors and civil society activists.
While a dialogue is necessary, there must also be consequences for those responsible for human rights abuses, and for those at the highest levels who have engineered the coup.
In that vein, I support the Biden administration’s decision to suspend $700 million in aid immediately following the coup. I also welcome the decision by the World Bank to suspend its own planned assistance. However these actions alone have proven insufficient to end the violence and forcing the generals to the negotiating table.
In the days to come, Congress will act as well. Ranking Member Risch and I are collaborating on legislation that establishes conditions that must be met prior to restarting assistance, that directs the Administration to rethink its assistance strategy, and which sets up a regime of targeted sanctions for those who undertook the coup and continue to undermine the transition to democracy and abuse human rights—thus far a critical missing element in the Administration response”.
– End Statement –
Time To Reset Policy
It is time to reset US policy to reflect the new aggravate realities on the ground in Sudan. Right now, al-Burhan’s military junta is sitting and laughing at the international community’s attempts to stop the progress of these rawhides.
Does the US administration believe it is still possible to return to the pre-Oct. 25 transitional arrangement? If so, what makes the US administration think that those who led the coup on Oct. 25 will not mount another overthrow again?
What downsides does the US administration see in sanctioning those who led and supported the coup, including General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as “Hemedti,” and Abdul Rahim Dagalo?
Moreover, I think al-Burhan has lost all dignity, honor and identity.
He is an enemy of God, the Sudanese, and the humanity.