بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Memorandum to Sudan Partner’s Conference
The people of Sudan highly appreciate the concept of your August conference.
We express four objective reasons for our appreciation, viz.: A donor’s conference would be a one-way exchange, a friends’ conference would stop at expressing sympathy; however, a partnership conference would aim at benefits for all participants. The composition of this conference is global and therefore promises to realize East/West cooperation not competition, and Arab cooperation, especially, between our gulf brothers rather than the current conflict.
We, the people of Sudan thank you very much for organizing this conference and put the following twelve points for your consideration:
First: The popular Revolution in Sudan is not simply a change of regimes. If it succeeds in establishing a viable democratic system, it promises to give the popular democratic aspirations in the Region an example that delivers. Although the Arab spring movements have genuine popular aspirations, their failures to deliver has left the countries concerned with one of the three alternatives, viz, an opening for the terrorism agenda, chaos or dictatorship in search for stability.
Second: Sudan’s geopolitical position is pivotal as microcosm of Africa. If its present democratic enterprise fails, its region will provide a meeting place for terrorist movements, which promise to establish reactionary alternatives: Boko Haram from the West, Somali Youth from the Horn of Africa and the network of Al-Qaeda, and Daesh, which has bounced back. Consequently, this will provide a field day for extremism and violence. A peaceful, economically viable, and democratic Sudan will be a bulwark for stability in the Region.
Third: Sudan is among a few countries in the world endowed with all the natural resources, for example, precious metals, industrial metals and so on. A list of the available resources could be provided. They offer a good market for international investment.
Fourth: Sudan has two thirds of arable land in the whole Nile Basin. This provides ample opportunity for regional and international food security. Properly managed, the country’s resources in terms of rivers, lakes, ground water basins, and harvestable rains, will ensure viable water supply.
Fifth: In Sudan, there are more than a hundred million heads of animal resources provided with natural grazing. With little investment in animal health care, this wealth can be tapped for economic benefit.
Sixth: Sudan’s potential to contribute to carbon dioxide absorption in terms of afforestation is enormous. Also, there is great potential for solar and wind energy and the production of bio-fuels.
Seventh: Sudan’s present legal system is a legacy of a despotic discredited regime. We will engage in a complete radical reform of the legal system particularly the banking system, and legislation to encourage investment, production and trade.
Another aspect of the legacy of the despotic regime is that for various reasons a big proportion of the country’s professional and technical personnel has been expatriated. There is a massive sentiment for repatriation if circumstances change.
Eighth: the people of Sudan are expatriate friendly. This sentiment could be confirmed by all the diplomatic personnel accredited to Sudan. An effective partnership which your conference could achieve will be a good example of North/South cooperation.
Ninth: After the Second World War (1939- 1945) it was feared by the USA that Western Europe may suffer Soviet penetration. Therefore, America provided a lever for Western Europe economic recovery. The Marshall plan provided that lever. Also, after the Korean war, America helped South Korea to hold its own.
The dangers facing the democratic Sudan are immense. They can tribute negatively to world peace and stability. This argues for a Marshall plan like lever for Sudanese economic development.
Tenth: Sudan suffered from three military coup d’etats, and four civil wars. They are all associated with periods of dictatorships: 1963 and 1983 in the South, 2003 in Darfur and 2011 in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.
There is a great potential for peace building in Sudan. This requires a program of positive discrimination in terms of economic construction and social services.
It necessitates immediate settlements for the IDPS and refugees in their improved home villages. Sudan’s own resources now would not cope.
Eleventh: Sudan’s spring will fail unless five essential requirements are provided immediately. They are:
- (A) Unconditional lifting of sanctions, which were deserved against a terrorist sponsoring regime. The present system is itself a victim of that regime. To hold it responsible in any way for the legacy of that regime is a great injustice. To decide to continue with the sanctions is to decide to abort Sudan’s march towards democratic stability.
- (B) Sudan’s external debt was the result of two dictatorial regimes mismanagement of the economy and corruption. Most of the external debt is accumulated interest. Sudan is entitled to a special HIPC treatment to erase that debt.
- (C) We look up to the conference to survey the huge potential in Sudan for economic development. A positive attitude in this respect will benefit the Sudan and the international community. We very much realize the negative impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic, but if there is a will, there is a way.
- (D) A consortium of state companies, and banks would provide an extraordinary plan to help Sudan.
Twelfth: Popular will in Sudan is well motivated to lift the country by its own bootstraps. However, after three decades of deprivation, the population is impatient for immediate change. An international plan to rescue the Sudan will be a masterstroke for international statesmanship.
The resolutions of your conference and an able instrument to carry them through will be much-deserved bonus for a suffering people, a support for democratic governance and a powerful contribution to world peace and cooperation.
Yes, the challenges are massive, but as a wise man said: When the going is tough, the tough get going.