October 23, 2020

Sudan has made amends. Let’s take it off the terrorism list.

The U.S. government is poised to remove Sudan from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, based on an agreement that requires Khartoum to pay $335 million to American victims of terrorist attacks. The deal recognizes that Sudan has met the delisting requirement of a “fundamental change” in leadership following courageous work by the Sudanese […]

New Zealand Responds to Covid-19

OKIATO, New Zealand — Since the start of the novel coronavirus pandemic, New Zealand has drawn global attention for the effectiveness of its response. But in recent weeks it has experienced an uptick in infections — even prompting President Trump to sneer at what he called its “big surge.” Perhaps he’s just jealous. In fact, […]

Sudan’s New Minister of Justice

Nasredeen Abdulbari was in the Georgetown University Library, working on his doctoral dissertation, when he received a call on his phone. “You’ve been nominated to be the Minister of Justice,” the man on the other end told him. Fifteen years ago his community was decimated by a genocide that catalyzed thousands of ordinary Americans to […]

After Dictatorship

KHARTOUM, Sudan—During the morning shift at Omdurman Teaching Hospital, sick people group under trees in the courtyard, awaiting admission. There are 645 beds and upwards of 1,500 patients each day. Inside, Mohammed Elhag Hamed brought a manila folder over to me. The documents inside formed a paper trail of corruption. They showed how the political […]

Bringing the Rule of Law to Sudan

Last week, as Americans grappled with potential impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, and lawyers on the other side of the Atlantic digested the British Supreme Court’s prorogation decision, Nasredeen Abdulbari, Sudan’s new minister of justice, appeared before the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva to recount the seismic shifts afoot in his country, too: “As […]

Seize this Moment in Sudan

Sudan is in the midst of a once-in-a-generation moment. Courageous and persistent pro-democracy protesters, who broke the grip on power that president Omar Hassan al-Bashir had held for three decades, have now succeeded in bringing civilian reformers into leadership positions. The significance of this moment might be overlooked by anyone who expects a democratic transition to be […]

Commission on Unalienable Rights

On May 30, without fanfare, a notice of intent to establish a State Department Commission on Unalienable Rights was published in the Federal Register. The stated purpose of the Commission is to provide “fresh thinking about human rights” and propose “reforms of human rights discourse where it has departed from our nation’s founding principles of natural law […]

It Takes a Village to Make a Monster

The world loves to hate a villain, and Sudan’s recently ousted president, Omar al-Bashir, is a villain worthy of despise. During his 30 years of autocratic rule, he presided over the deaths of millions of Sudanese citizens, oversaw the establishment of proxy militia that have devastated communities across the country, and fostered a ruthless security […]

Sudan’s new ruler is no democrat – and he has Darfur to answer for

After 30 years, President Omar al Bashir is no longer the ruler of Sudan. Following months of protests, the Sudanese military has taken charge of the country. This marks the fifth military coup in Sudan’s post-independence history. And while Bashir’s downfall is an extraordinary development, there is a long way to go before the protesters’ […]

Sudan’s Unlawful State of Emergency

– With Nasredeen Abdulbari.  On February 22, Sudan’s embattled president, Omar al-Bashir declared a one-year, nation-wide state of emergency. He subsequently issued five decrees to implement the declaration that collectively curtail fundamental rights to a degree that is unprecedented in the post-independence history of Sudan. The state of emergency came during peaceful protests— started by […]