Foreign Affairs Committee Leaders Introduce Legislation to Support Sudan’s Democratic Transition – US House

March 62020

Washington—Representatives Eliot L, Engel, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee; Michael McCaul, the Committee’s Ranking Member; Karen Bass, Chairperson of the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations; and Chris Smith, the Subcommittee’s Ranking Member, today introduced legislation to help foster a successful democratic transition in Sudan. The Sudan Democratic Transition, Accountability, and Financial Transparency Act of 2020 (H.R.6094) would support a civilian-led democratic transition, promote accountability for human-rights abuses, and encourage fiscal transparency in Sudan.

Representatives Jim McGovern, Barbara Lee, and Dan Kildee are also original cosponsors of the legislation.

“As the people of Sudan move forward on the uncertain path toward greater freedom and democracy, the United States should stand with them and support their aspirations. I am proud to introduce this measure that moves us towards a positive, constructive relationship between the United States and Sudan,” said Chairman Engel. “This bipartisan bill is a declaration of Congress’s support for the civilian-led transition’s reform agenda, advancing the what the people of Sudan accomplished during their revolution.”

“After 30 years of brutal military dictatorship in Sudan, peaceful pro-democracy protestors prevailed in forming a transitional civilian-led government. This legislation supports the Sudanese people by prioritizing programs to foster economic growth and prevent and mitigate conflict. It also authorizes targeted sanctions against individuals who have perpetrated human rights abuses and war crimes. I am proud to be an original co-sponsor of this legislation that will help sustain key gains in democratic governance and usher in a new era of peace and prosperity for the people of Sudan,” said Rep. McCaul.

“I recently led a bipartisan trip to Sudan where Members witnessed some of the positive changes that have taken place in the country.  This piece of legislation is a step in the right direction of our commitment to support the transition to a civilian-led democratic government and I urge my colleagues to support it. Thank you, Chairman Engel for your continued leadership on this issue,” said Rep. Bass.

“We support the transition of Sudan to a democratic government.  There needs, however, to be accountability for those who have committed genocide, war crimes and atrocities.  The Sudan Democratic Transition, Accountability, and Fiscal Transparency Act of 2020 strikes a realistic balance between these objectives,” said Rep. Smith.

The Sudan Democratic Transition, Accountability, and Financial Transparency Act of 2020 (H.R. 6094):

  • authorizes assistance for democratic governance, rule of law, and human rights, including support for free, fair, and credible elections;
  • authorizes support for development programs, including those focused on providing economic opportunities for youth and previously marginalized populations;
  • supports long-term peace and stability in Sudan by authorizing support for conflict mitigation, including efforts to strengthen civilian oversight of the Sudanese security and intelligence services;
  • promotes accountability for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide by authorizing support to build Sudan’s judicial capacity to pursue prosecutions in domestic or hybrid international courts;
  • supports debt relief and multilateral financing from international financial institutions provided that certain governance and fiscal transparency benchmarks are met;
  • advances effort to assist the Government of Sudan in recovering stolen assets;
  • authorizes sanctions on any individuals who commit human rights abuses, participate in the illicit exploitation of natural resources, or undermine the political transition in Sudan; and
  • requires the Administration to submit to Congress a strategy for supporting the civilian-led Government of Sudan during the transition period.

Full text of the bill can be found here.

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