US Ambassador Arrives In Sudan After 25-year Freeze

Photo: Twitter

The Facts

  • On Wed., John Godfrey, the first US ambassador to Sudan in 25 years, arrived in Khartoum. This is the latest rapprochement between the two countries after Sudan was removed from the US list of states sponsors of terrorism in 2020.

  • Godfrey was announced as the new ambassador in Jan. 2022, following Sudan's appointment of its first ambassador to Washington in two decades in May 2020.

The Spin

Pro-establishment narrative

Though the 2021 military coup has halted Sudan's democratic transition, there's an opportunity for Godfrey - with his vast experience working in closed and transitioning countries - to make a real difference. With a firm strategy, he will be able to use American influence to organize and motivate a new political process.

Establishment-critical narrative

After decades of pressuring and standing up to Bashir, the US's strategy has seemingly fallen stagnant in the face of a military coup. Rather than asserting the same aggressive policy, Washington has taken a docile stance towards the military leaders when it should be supporting the pro-democracy forces that remain in Sudan. Hopefully, the new ambassador - which was long overdue - marks a turning point.

Narrative C

The US must face the fact that recent setbacks in the Sudanese transition to democracy weren't a consequence of a supposed failure to engage in the country. In fact, they reveal a new international context in which the US is just one among several competing powers, most of them supportive of military rulers.

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