Sudan’s Foreign Policy

Dr. Elshafie Khidir Saeid

The foreign policy of any country is believed to be a reflection of its internal situations and policies. Its formulation requires understanding and careful study of the various factors, determinants, and events, internal and external, that are directly or indirectly affecting the process, such as the current international crisis after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The official institutions in the country are ultimately the solely responsible bodies for making the country’s foreign policy through choosing the best alternative that could bring the maximum benefits and the minimum possible losses to the country.

But, when looking for such a scientific approach in the Sudanese situation, we will be shocked by the fact that our current transitional period is lacking such strategic vision and approach, and its external activities are suffering from randomness, absence of priorities, and they may come in response to interests that are likely to contradict the interests of the nation.

I think there are two very important and crucial factors to be considered when drawing the foreign policy of Sudan: 1-The fact that a deep national crisis is suffocating the country to the extent that, if not resolved, it could lead to its fragmentation and collapse. 2- The Sudanese crisis is intersecting with many regional and international conflicts and challenges. The headlines of these challenges are self-explanatory, chief among them: the repercussions of the Arab Spring and the confrontation with the political Islam in the region, the Yemen war and Sudan’s involvement in its dilemma, the regional and international intersections with Sudan’s civil wars and rising tensions in Darfur, South Kordofan, South Blue Nile, and the Eastern region, the escalating wars and conflicts in the neighboring countries (Ethiopia, South Sudan, Central Africa, Chad, and Libya), the conflicts in the Horn of Africa, the Sahel and West Africa, the international ambitions for the Red Sea, the Arabian Gulf, the Arabian Peninsula, and the Lakes region in Africa, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the new sources of oil and its transportation routes, the control and competition of multinational monopolies on the world market, the foreign debt, the globalization and the internationalization of capital….etc.

It is clear that any of these challenges calls for a foreign policy drawn up according to an agreed strategic vision that serves the interests of the country and the people of Sudan, and is made by institutions and not by hasty, uncalculated decisions or to serve private interests.

Today, we are living in a world governed by the inextricable laws of globalization, which provide fertile soil for the objective and inevitable interactions and overlapping between the various components of this world. It is a must that Sudan should interact positively with these other components of the world, and harness this interaction for the interest of the country, away from the delusions and slanders of the old times, and at the same time, away from any slips that would overstate our national sovereignty.

It is worth saying that national sovereignty is not imposed by one group over another. Rather, it is created by the coexisting people belonging to the same homeland, and they derive it from their unity and understanding of their problems and their willingness to resolve them by mutual consent. Unfortunately, this is not the case in Sudan.

For a long time, Sudan has been greatly affected by the isolation and sanctions, due to the imbalances in its foreign policy as a result of either charging this policy with ideology, or falling into the traps of axes conflicts, or drawing policies that put the private interest above the national ones. All that should be silenced completely.

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