Corruption in Sudan
The prolonged state of lawlessness in Sudan and high political instability levels have caused havoc in the country running its prospects for economic development as well as long term investments. Despite widespread economic corruption and an environment that is highly politically charged, there has been marginal improvements in growth of small service sector, employment levels and expansion of the informal stakeholders. It is these components that have influenced the production processes positively in the economy’s which is quite rich in production of oil. Just as is the case with several other African nations, oil production, distribution and discovery have turned to be more of a curse than blessing in socioeconomic, cultural and political fronts. As a result of widespread corruption in Sudan political sphere where the appointments are based on religious affiliations, tribal clans and political inclinations as opposed to meritocracy, the political state in the country is unstable (Dowden 6).
Prolonged political animosity periods among the varying groupings in the country have also resulted to break away of southern region to form a state that is independent (South Sudan). The birth of South Sudan was mostly the result of political corruption which characterized the larger Sudan prior to July 2011when the South was formed and independent Country. Despite the independent break made by Southern Sudan however, political uncertainty and security still remains to be one of the daunting challenges that needs to be addressed mostly because of the widespread menace of corruption that continues to be entrenched in almost all systems of government (Shmeul, 24). The war that started in Southern region of Sudan especially in Darfur was categorized by the UN as the aftermath of widespread corrupt activities in Sudan Government offices. The civil, political and economic institutional frameworks in Sudan have always been threatened by officials who are corrupt with no regard for the rule of law in any of their operations. Because of this, the rule of law continues to be uneven and fragile. The confidence of the Sudan government in the masses over the years has eroded as well mostly because of the government’s failure to deliver a reliable basis for essential and basic public utilities such as water, energy and healthcare. These inefficiencies are attributed to widespread and systematic levels of corruption. In this case, the government has not been excused due to its inability to abate the menace at different levels (Michael 21).
On the political front, corruption has been highlighted as the factor aiding the current president Omar Hassan al-Bashir who has ruled the country since 1989 when he took over power through corrupt means (Coup). The first “multiparty and democratic” elections were held in 2010 and reinstated Bashir as the president. The elections were defined as marred by widespread election malpractices and irregularities in vote counting which were blamed on rooted political institutions that were corrupt. The widespread conflicts and war especially in Darfur resulted to ICC (International Criminal Court) indicting Bashir in 2009 with enforceable arrest warrants issues against him. The cessation of Southern Sudan in 2011was mostly aimed at putting to an end conflict that had lasted for decades, displacement and deaths of citizens. However, cross border violence, citizenship status and oil rights have also threated to ignite war which is attributed to lack of transparent transactions in relation to these issues. Institutions and officials are so corrupt to the point of compromising amicable settlement of such issues in democratic procedures. The corrupt institutions in social, economic and political structures have as well caused political instability in the country, corruption in development of transport networks for transportation of oil has further made the situation worse. Poor infrastructure and weak property rights in the country have also hindered the efforts of curbing corruption. After cessation of Southern Sudan, the rule of law, as discussed earlier have reaffirmed a fragile issue in Sudan. Corrupt officials in government have degraded institutions that are tasked with protection of public and private utilities and properties. The country is no position to enjoy private properties protection especially from the government. Legal framework that individuals can use such as litigation process to safeguard their property is hampered by years of stretching political conflict. Political corruption in the country has led to suppressed political freedom which is now a preserve for the mighty in the country (Shmeul 26). Democracy is without question choked and this had led to intervention by the international community in the nation. The international relations in Sudan have been adversely affected because countries have distanced themselves from dealing directly with the Sudanese government because of its failure to stop corruption and uphold rule of law. As mentioned earlier, President Bashir has already been indicted by the ICC at The Hague and a warrant issued against him (Baldauf 14).
The implications of this state with the international community means that Bashir is not able to visit most of the countries across the globe as they are under obligation of international law to arrest as well as hand him over to the court. Despite the fact Sudan is a member of UN, the president is not permitted to attend organizational conventions at the headquarters in New York as a result of the tainted interrelations the country has with the international community. The international community has as well enforced sanctions against Sudan due to the government’s active control of some major institutions such as the judiciary, civil authorities and military. The government, also has been constrained as a result of limited income as well as huge expenditure. However, the economic state in the nation is enough to finance all government expenditure. For example, the top income rate in the country is 10% while the corporate tax rate is 35%. Besides these income sources, the oil sector also provides another income source for the government. The overall rate of tax for the government in Sudan is equivalent to 6.5% of the total domestic income received by the government. These income sources are often well enough for financing government expenditure which is below 20% of the entire domestic output. However, because of corruption and the embezzlement of finances, the government public debt is more than 70% of its total Gross Domestic Product. The fiscal climate is also adversely affected by the failure of the government to conduct meaningful negotiations with the South over oil revenue sharing arrangements. Further, this has worsened the situation when donor countries curtail support with Sudan (Hennemeyer 12).
The country has also witnessed widespread food shortage as a result of the factors discussed above of over reliance on revenue from oil exports. Efforts to make sure citizens enjoy food security and attain the Millennium Development Goals have been complicated as well by economic sanctions imposed on the nation by the international community. On top of this, the fuel crisis in the country has been worsening as a result of failure of the government to negotiate the crisis with South of the oil distribution network. In the recent past, there has been a standoff between the South and Sudan over distribution which has led to a lot of uncertainty and also created animosity between these two countries. In retaliation attacks, the South in one year has shut down production of oil twice as a way of protesting. The dry environmental climate in the country has also subjected the citizens to water crisis which the government has been attempting to resolve. The fact River Nile is in Sudan has not in any way, helped the situation and funds allocated to resolve the water crisis in the nation have proven futile. According to this research, the problems in Sudan will be alleviated only when the government implements conscious measures in order to abate the root cause of the problem. Actions aimed to curb corruption in the social and economic institutions need to be implemented and enforced in order to ensure the global water and food crisis is dealt with. On top of this, energy and fuel crisis can be dealt with when the parties involved agree to negotiate on the basis of mutual agreements. However, such efforts shall not be successful if political elites lack the political will to abide by and respect the rule of law as well as implement measures as they are stipulated above. The UN has recommended different measures to be implemented in order to deal with the issue of corruption in the country. International organizations throughout the world have joined the UN in providing recommendations of dealing with practices of corruption which is the major cause of problems in the country. Despite these international sanctions by the global community, the solution only lies with Sudan and the political will to implement policies that can liberate the nation from chains of corruption which have crippled the political, social and economic institutions (Shmuel 33).
Baldauf, Scott. Sudan’s Legendary Islamist Takes a Moderate View, The Christian Science Monitor, June 13, 2007. Print.
Dowden, Richard. THE AFRICA ISSUE: Cynical Politicians, Pipedreams ” and How We Can Make a Difference, The Independent (London, England), June 1, 2005. Print.
Hennemeyer, Chris. Africa’s Watershed Years of Progress, The Christian Science Monitor, October 17th 2006. Print.
Michael, Peel. Why Africa Keeps Fighting over Oil; Peace Talks Continued in Nigeria Thursday between the Government and the Leader of a Militia Group, The Christian Science Monitor, October 1st, 2012. Print.
Shmeul, Bar. The Religious Sources of Islamic Terrorism, Policy Review,2012, 2(125): 23-87.