The Significance of the US Ambassador’s Arrival in Khartoum

Muawad Mustafa Rashid

According to a media notice issued by the Public Diplomacy Section of the Embassy of the United States of America in Khartoum, Ambassador John Godfrey, the first US Ambassador to Sudan in nearly 25 years, arrived in Khartoum. The notice added “As a senior representative of the US Government, Ambassador Godfrey will work to strengthen relations between the American and Sudanese people and to support their aspirations to freedom, justice, and a transition to democracy. He also looks forward to advancing priorities related to peace and security, economic development, and food security”.

Immediately after that announcement, the ousted regime supporters and the forces aligning with the current coup welcomed the step considering it as recognition of the coup, because – according to them – the US Ambassador will have no option other than going to the Republican Palace to present his credentials before the President of the Sovereignty Council, General Al-Burhan.

They assume that the arrival of the US Ambassador means practically the failure of the civilians in their pressures on the US Administration to reduce its diplomatic representation with Khartoum, arguing that the arrival of the new Ambassador means the desire if the US Administration to work directly in reshaping the Sudanese reality and ignore the civilian forces which are below the ability to deal with the complicated Sudanese reality.

But the argument of those could be easily defeated if we noticed that before the arrival of the US Ambassador in Khartoum, the US Congress endorsed a resolution that condemn the military coup of October 25th, 2021 calling on the Military Council to lift the state of emergency and restore the democratic transformation path.

This simply means that the US Administration is still committed to the democratic transformation in strong partnership with the Sudanese people in their aspirations to freedom, justice, and a transition to democracy, looking forward to advancing priorities related to peace and security, economic development, and food security, as mentioned in the US Embassy notice.

However, the nomination of a new US Ambassador in Khartoum is considered an important shift in the Sudanese/US relations especially after the deterioration of the relations between the two countries and the accusation of America Sudan as a State Sponsor of Terrorism in 1993 besides imposing economic sanctions on Sudan more than two decades ago.

After the fall of Al-Bashir’s regime, Washington strongly supported the aspirations of the Sudanese through its decision of lifting Sudan from the terrorism list.

We should recognize that the US Administration has taken a strict attitude towards Al-Burhan’s coup by preventing its allies and the global financial institutions from providing any support to Sudan until the return of civilian rule.

The nomination of the US Ambassador is part of comprehensive moves by the US Administration towards Africa to restore its role especially after the emergence of strong competitors such as Russia and to some extent China, considering that Washington recognizes the strategic location of Sudan on the Red Sea area.

In conclusion, the arrival of the new Ambassador in Khartoum affirms that Washington had thrown its full weight into the Sudanese political scene and might be part of the pressure mechanisms of the international community to achieve the aspirations of the Sudanese people in democratic transformation, restoring the civilian rule in the country, and bringing an end to the 25th October 2021 coup.

Long live Sudanese/American strong relations for the sake of freedom, peace, and justice.

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