U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre

This Anti-Corruption Helpdesk brief was produced in response to a query from a U4 Partner Agency. The U4 Helpdesk is operated by Transparency International in collaboration with the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre based at the Chr. Michelsen Institute.

Query

We would like an update of the overview on corruption and anti-corruption in Sudan. In particular, we would be interested in the role and results of the Anti-Corruption and Funds Recovery Committee and the overall role of state/military-owned companies in the transition process in Sudan.

Summary

The transition of Sudan to democratic rule after the 2019 overthrow of the al-Bashir regime has been characterised by its own set of challenges, including, but not limited to, a failing economy; political tensions; and continuing widespread protests for justice and reforms. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing issues, leading to record high inflation rates; increased food prices; rising unemployment, and declining exports. While the Empowerment Elimination, Anti-Corruption and Funds Recovery Committee has made substantial progress in recovering assets from the erstwhile kleptocratic regime’s key actors, much needs to be done to strengthen the overall anti-corruption legal and institutional framework as well as its implementation. Military-owned businesses have tight control over critical sectors of the Sudanese economy. Civic space is slowly opening, but a culture of transparency has to be created and sustained after three decades of authoritarian rule.

Contents

  1. Background
  2. Extent and forms of corruption
  3. Focus areas:
  • Military-owned business
  • Anti-Corruption and Funds Recovery Committee

4. Legal and institutional framework

5. Other stakeholders

6. References

Main points

  • Corruption continues to be endemic in the Sudanese context, with several key players from the former authoritarian regimes occupying positions of power in the transitional government.
  • The Anti-Corruption and Funds Recovery Committee is a political body set up to dismantle the kleptocratic networks of the erstwhile al-Bashir regime. It has gained popularity with the citizenry after having reportedly seized substantial assets from the corrupt actors of the NCP since its inception.
  • Military-owned businesses have tight control over key sectors of the Sudanese economy, such as gold, meat exports, and rubber. These companies operate in a grey zone and are shrouded in opacity regarding their structure, profits, and payment of taxes.
  • The anti-corruption legal and institutional framework needs strengthening.
  • Civic space is slowly opening up, and on-ground anti-corruption capacity needs to be increased.

Authors

Kaunain Rahman (TI), tihelpdesk@transparency.org

Reviewers

Vera Devine (U4), Vera.Devine@cmi.no

Mariana Ghawaly (TI), tihelpdesk@transparency.org

Date

06/11/2021

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