Prior to 2019, Sudan was controlled by a military dictatorship, ruled by Omar al-Bashir. Al-Bashir was accused of various human rights violations, including torture, rape, and murder. In 2019, however, the al-Bashir regime was overthrown by non-violent civilian protests, and the civilian and military groups pledged to rule the government together under Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. Despite this, in October 2021, the military staged a coup and took complete control of the Sudanese government. Although many believe that the humanitarian aid that the US is sending to Sudan is sufficient, the US must also send military support to the country because of human rights abuses, the inability of the Sudanese civilians to resolve the turmoil in their country themselves, and the ineffectiveness of the humanitarian aid and sanctions that the US have given and imposed on Sudan thus far.
Sudan is currently in shambles, and there are human rights abuses and widespread violence that will likely continue if the US does not intervene. For example, hundreds of civilians have been wounded and many have been killed in Sudan by military forces. Despite denouncements from international bodies such as the UN, peaceful protests in Sudan have been met with military force, which will continue to occur unless the military is stopped. The inefficacy of these civilian protests and Sudanese citizen deaths display the need for US assistance. Additionally, the former Sudanese Prime Minister, Abdalla Hamdok, as well as various former civilian leaders in the government, were detained and under house arrest until December. The Sudanese public no longer has representation in the government, which is completely controlled by military representatives and leaders. Because of this, political rights are suppressed, and the US must protect the political rights of these Sudanese citizens. The US is known for spreading its principles of democracy and freedom throughout the world, and to fulfill this goal, the US must do so in Sudan as well.
The US has halted humanitarian funds and other resources to Sudan, and the US must help Sudan regain control of its government in order to continue providing aid to the country. For example, following the coup, the US stopped the flow of $700 million to Sudan in order to punish the military government. However, this also hurts civilians who need these funds amidst hunger and danger. Consequently, the US has to help resolve the issue in Sudan as quickly as possible in order to return to supporting the Sudanese people. Secondly, although the US removed various economic sanctions imposed on Sudan in 2020 after Sudan was removed from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list, the US might replace these sanctions on Sudan if the government continues to be controlled by the military. This will cause further economic turmoil and will negatively affect the Sudanese public who struggle to obtain food and shelter. In order to prevent these actions, the US has to address the issue in Sudan quickly through military means.
Although some believe that the U.S. should not intervene in Sudan because the country will regain control of its government by itself, the unsteady Sudanese government up until 2021 and the military coup in Sudan demonstrate that Sudan, by itself, is not capable of stabilizing its nation and consequently needs US assistance. In and of itself, the military coup makes it evident that Sudan does not have the power to restore democracy and a civilian government on its own. There were numerous protests and demonstrations in 2019 to overthrow the military dictatorship and install a civilian government, and although these efforts succeeded in establishing a partial civilian government, much of their progress was instantly eradicated by the coup, without making clear if the government will ever revert back to promoting civilian control. Furthermore, even before the military coup, Sudanese civilians did not completely control the government. Instead, power was shared between the civilian and military groups. This shows the difficulty and implausibility of the Sudanese citizens gaining complete, stable control of the government without military aid from the US. Because of this, as Gareth Evans, former President and CEO of the International Crisis Group, states, it is important to recognize the possibility of implementing US military force in Sudan.
The US must provide military support to Sudan in order to protect human rights, provide humanitarian and financial aid, and because Sudan cannot regain control of its government itself. Additionally, the US is the largest ally to Sudan, and if the US does militarily intervene in Sudan, other countries will also not provide assistance. If the US does not act soon, it will have to impose sanctions and cut funding from Sudan, hurting the Sudanese public and ultimately destabilizing Eastern Africa as a whole.
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What Happened.” CNN, https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/25/africa/sudan-coup-
“The Crisis in Sudan: What to Know.” Council on Foreign Relations, https://www.cfr.org/in-
Smith, Elliot. “Sudan’s Coup Attempt Faces Mass Civilian Revolt: Here’s What Could Happen
Next.” CNBC, 4 Nov. 2021, https://www.cnbc.com/2021/11/04/sudans-coup-attempt-