The U.S.-Sudan relationship is at an historic juncture, with the prospect of a broader normalization of relations with the United States coinciding with economic and political turbulence in Sudan. Amid the goals of the U.S. engagement process, the demands of Sudanese citizens for a peaceful, better governed country remain unfulfilled. On June 5 on Facebook Live, USIP explored the findings of a recent report, “Sudan after Sanctions: Sudanese Views of Relations with the United States,” authored by USIP’s Aly Verjee, examining the perceptions and hopes of Sudanese citizens for future relations between Sudan and the United States.

The United States has long-standing interests in Sudan, which has been plagued by conflict for decades. Sudan’s authoritarian government is perceived as a crucial U.S. counter-terrorism partner, despite a checkered history of support to terrorist groups. But the long and acrimonious history between the United States and Sudan impedes and complicates any future relationship. To date, Sudanese voices outside of the government have been largely overlooked in the discussion about reforms in Sudan. If the processes of change desired by the United States in Sudan are not understood by the people they are meant to serve, the ability of Sudanese citizens to hold their government to account will remain limited—diminishing the prospects of successfully changing the country.

The conversation examined these issues and some of the perceptions, and misperceptions, of Sudanese citizens about the future of relations with the United States. 

Follow the conversation on Twitter with #SudanAfterSanctions.


Susan Stigant
Africa Director, U.S. Institute of Peace, Moderator

Azaz Elshami
Manager of Global Field Initiatives
International Center on Nonviolent Conflict

Aly Verjee
Visiting Expert, U.S. Institute of Peace 

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