IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
November 29, 2021
Mr. Coons introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations
To support a civilian-led democratic transition, peace, and stability in Sudan.
This Act may be cited as the
Sudan Democracy Act.
In this Act:
The terms admitted and alien have the meanings given such terms in section 101 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1001).
Appropriate congressional committees
The term appropriate congressional committees means—
the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate;
the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate;
the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives; and
the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives.
The term foreign person means a person that is not a United States person.
Gross violations of internationally recognized human rights
The term gross violations of internationally recognized human rights has the meaning given such term in section 502B(d)(1) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2304(d)(1)).
International financial institutions
The term international financial institutions means—
the International Monetary Fund;
the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development;
the International Development Association;
the International Finance Corporation;
the Inter-American Development Bank;
the Asian Development Bank;
the Inter-American Investment Corporation;
the African Development Bank;
the African Development Fund;
the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; and
the Multilateral Investment Guaranty Agency.
The term knowingly means, with respect to conduct, a circumstance, or a result, means that a person has actual knowledge, or should have known, of the conduct, the circumstance, or the result.
Security and intelligence services
The term security and intelligence services means—
the Sudan Armed Forces;
the Rapid Support Forces;
the Popular Defense Forces;
other Sudanese paramilitary units;
Sudanese police forces; and
the General Intelligence Service (previously known as the National Intelligence and Security Services).
United states person
The term United States person means—
a United States citizen, an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence to the United States, or any other individual subject to the jurisdiction of the United States; or
an entity organized under the laws of the United States or of any jurisdiction within the United States, including a foreign branch of such entity.
Findings; statement of policy
Congress makes the following findings:
On November 17, 1958, Lieutenant General Ibrahim Abboud of Sudan led the country’s first coup after independence, and the first successful coup in post-independence Africa.
There have been more than 200 coup attempts across Africa since the 1958 coup in Sudan, including successful coups in Sudan in 1969, 1985, 1989, and 2019.
On April 11, 2019, President Omar al Bashir of Sudan, who came to power in a military coup in 1989, was overthrown after months of popular protests by his own security chiefs, who established a Transitional Military Council, led by Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, that ignored calls from the Sudanese people to transfer power to civilians.
On August 17, 2019—
the Transitional Military Council, under domestic and international pressure, signed a power-sharing agreement with the Forces for Freedom and Change, a broad coalition of political parties and civic groups representing the protest movement that had pushed for the end of the Bashir regime and a transition to civilian rule; and
a transitional government was formed that allowed the junta leaders to remain in government in a partnership with new civilian authorities nominated by the Forces for Freedom and Change, including Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok, for a transitional period to democracy.
On October 25, 2021, Lieutenant General Burhan, with the support of Lieutenant Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (also known as
seized control of the Government of Sudan;
deployed the military to the streets of Khartoum and Omdurman;
shut down the internet in Sudan; and
detained Prime Minister Hamdok and other civilian officials.
The African Union Peace and Security Council has condemned the military takeover, rejected the unconstitutional change of government, and on October 27, 2021, suspended Sudan from the Council until the civilian-led transitional government is restored.
The Troika (the United States, United Kingdom, Norway), the European Union, and Switzerland
continue to recognize the Prime Minister and his cabinet as the constitutional leaders of the transitional government.
The Sudanese people have condemned the military takeover and launched a campaign of peaceful civil disobedience, continuing the protests for democracy that began in late 2018 and reflecting a historic tradition of non-violence protests led by previous generations in Sudan against military regimes in 1964 and 1985.
In response to public calls for civilian rule since October 25, 2021, Sudanese security forces have arbitrarily detained civilians and used excessive and lethal force against peaceful protesters that has resulted in civilian deaths across the country.
The October 25, 2021 military takeover represents a threat to—
Sudan’s economic recovery and stability;
the bilateral relationship between Sudan and the United States; and
regional peace and security.
Statement of policy
It is the policy of the United States—
to support the democratic aspirations of the people of Sudan and a political transition process that results in a civilian government that is democratic, accountable, respects the human rights of its citizens, and is at peace with itself and with its neighbors;
to encourage the reform of the security sector of Sudan to one that is protects citizens under a democracy and respects civilian authority; and
to deter military coups and efforts by external parties to support them.
Imposition of sanctions
The President shall impose the sanctions described in subsection (b) with respect to any person or entity that the President determines, on or after the date of enactment of this Act—
is responsible for, complicit in, or directly or indirectly engaged or attempted to engage in—
actions that undermine the transition to democracy in Sudan, or, after elections, undermine democratic processes or institutions;
actions that threaten the peace, security, or stability of Sudan;
actions that prohibit, limit, or penalize the exercise of freedom of expression or assembly by people in Sudan, or limit access to print, online, or broadcast media in Sudan;
the arbitrary detention or torture of any person in Sudan or other gross violations of internationally recognized human rights in Sudan;
significant efforts to impede investigations or prosecutions of alleged serious human rights abuses in Sudan;
actions that result in the misappropriation of significant state assets of Sudan or manipulation of the currency, or that hinder government oversight of parastatal budgets and revenues;
actions that violate medical neutrality, including blocking access to care and targeting first responders, medical personnel, or medical institutions; or
disrupting access to communication technologies and information on the internet;
is an entity owned or controlled by any person or entity described in paragraph (1);
forms an entity for the purpose of evading sanctions that would otherwise be imposed pursuant to subsection (b);
is acting for, or on behalf of, a person or entity referred to in paragraph (1), (2), or (3);
is an entity that is owned or controlled (directly or indirectly) by security and intelligence services, from which 1 or more persons or entities described in paragraph (1) derive significant revenue or financial benefit; or
provided significant financial, material, or technological support—
to a foreign person or entity described in paragraph (1) in furtherance of any of the acts described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of such paragraph; or
to any entity owned or controlled by such person or entity or an immediate family member of such person; or
received significant financial, material, or technological support from a foreign person or entity described in paragraph (1) or an entity owned or controlled by such person or entity or an immediate family member of such person.
Notwithstanding section 202 of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701), the exercise of all powers granted to the President by such Act to the extent necessary to block and prohibit all transactions in all property and interests in property of a foreign person the President determines meets 1 or more of the criteria described in subsection (a) if such property and interests in property are in the United States, come within the United States, or are or come within the possession or control of a United States person.
Aliens inadmissible for visas, admission, or parole
Visas, admission, or parole
An alien who the Secretary of State or the Secretary of Homeland Security (or a designee of one of such Secretaries) knows, or has reason to believe, meets any of the criteria described in subsection (a)—
is inadmissible to the United States;
is ineligible to receive a visa or other documentation to enter the United States; and
is otherwise ineligible to be admitted or paroled into the United States or to receive any other benefit under the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.).
Current visas revoked
The issuing consular officer, the Secretary of State, or a designee of the Secretary of State, in accordance with section 221(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1201(i)), shall revoke any visa or other entry documentation issued to an alien described in clause (i) regardless of when the visa or other entry documentation was issued.
Effect of revocation
A revocation under subclause (I) shall take effect immediately and shall automatically cancel any other valid visa or entry documentation that is in the alien’s possession.
Exception to comply with united nations headquarters agreement
Sanctions under paragraph (1)(B) shall not apply with respect to an alien if admitting or paroling the alien into the United States is necessary to permit the United States to comply with the Agreement regarding the Headquarters of the United Nations, signed at Lake Success June 26, 1947, and entered into force November 21, 1947, between the United Nations and the United States, or other applicable international obligations.
Any person that violates, attempts to violate, conspires to violate, or causes a violation of this section or any regulation, license, or order issued to carry out subsection (b) shall be subject to the penalties set forth in subsections (b) and (c) of section 206 of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1705) to the same extent as a person that commits an unlawful act described in subsection (a) of such section.
may exercise all authorities provided under sections 203 and 205 of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1702 and 1704) to carry out this section; and
shall issue such regulations, licenses, and orders as may be necessary to carry out this section.
Exception to comply with national security
Activities subject to the reporting requirements under title V of the National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. 3091 et seq.) and any authorized intelligence or law enforcement activities of the United States shall be exempt from sanctions under this section.
The President may annually waive the application of sanctions imposed on a foreign person pursuant to subsection (a) if the President—
determines that such waiver with respect to such foreign person is in the national interest of the United States; and
not later than the date on which such waiver will take effect, submits notice of, and justification for, such waiver to—
the appropriate congressional committees;
the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate; and
the Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representatives.
The requirement to impose sanctions under this section shall cease to be effective on December 31, 2026.