The ‘‘Sudan Democratic Transition, Accountability, and Fiscal Transparency Act of 2020’’ was initially introduced last March by the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Eliot Engel.
A source told Sudan Tribune that a new version of the bill was was drafted this week to amend a section on multilateral financing and to add new items.
The new bill was incorporated in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the fiscal year 2021 which set budget levels for the US military.
The new version of the Sudan bill calls on the US administration to support Sudan in international financial institutions to obtain aid needed to tackle COVID-19.
The bill also stipulates that supporting debt relief for Sudan is subject to the appointment of a civilian figure to head the Sovereignty Council in addition to the legal requirement related to removing the East African nation from the US list of states that sponsor terrorism.
Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok heads a civilian government formed last year under a power-sharing deal with the military after it ousted long-term leader Omer Hassan al-Bashir.
The Sovereignty council which is equivalent to a ceremonial president is chaired by general Abdel-Fatah al-Burhan for the first half of the transitional period after which a civilian takes over from him.
The bill also provides for repealing the Sudan Peace Act 2002 which was enacted after the intensification of the war between the Sudanese government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in the south of the country,
The Comprehensive Sudan Peace Act of 2004, which included sanctions on Sudan and support for Darfur would also be repealed if the bill becomes law.
An amendment was also made to the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act of 2006 to remove restrictions on US president in providing aid to Sudan.
The NDAA will now have to be reconciled with another version in the Senate which does not include the Sudan bill. It is not clear if the bill will eventually make it to the final version of the NDAA.
Sudan is lobbying the US administration & Congress to sign off on a settlement with families of the 1998 US embassy bombings in Kenya & Tanzania to pave the way for removal from the list of terrorism states.