Analysis of Political, Social and legal dimensions of Corruption in Sudan
Corruption has multiple faces, types and causes. The political system fragility and lack of democratic transformation is one of the underlying causes of corruption. Corruption can also be categorized into different types such as casual corruption, organized corruption which spreads in various bodies and organizations and managements; and comprehensive corruption, public sector and private sector corruption.
Corruption hurts the poor disproportionately by diverting funds intended for development, undermining provision of basic services such as the right to clean water, health and education. It also feeds inequality and injustice and discourages foreign aid and investment, and is a key element in economic under performance and a major obstacle to poverty alleviation and development. Corruption continues to be one of the obstacles for achieving development goals as resources allocated for development are diverted by corruption and mismanagement. The net result of corruption is the rise in the cost of basic services, which felt more acutely by poor and marginalized sections of society. Sudan’s case of marginalization of the poor and the needy in the society (and of course other countries in the region) is largely due to successive corrupt regimes; an issue rarely featured and debated in our political and legal rights discourse. Corruption is a betrayal of the public trust and core values such as respect for the rule of law, accountability and transparency.
Sudan and the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC):
The international community’s response to corruption is based on the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) adopted by the UN General Assembly on 31 October 2003. Other conventions also exist to combat corruption; however, the UNCAC is a landmark document providing a comprehensive framework for addressing corruption. The vast majority of United Nations Member States are parties to the Convention. Sudan signed the Convention I4 January 2005 and ratified it in 5 September 2014.
The UNAC complements the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. Its main purpose and objective is; (a) to promote and strengthen measures to prevent and combat corruption more efficiently and effectively; (b) to promote, facilitate and support international cooperation and technical assistance in the prevention of and fight against corruption, (c) to promote integrity, accountability and proper management of public affairs
and public property.
To achieve these objectives the Convention introduces a comprehensive set of standards, measures and rules that all countries can apply in order to strengthen their legal and regulatory regimes to fight corruption. It also urges States parties to adopt preventive measures and criminalization of the most prevalent forms of corruption in both public and private sectors or spheres. The UNCAC requires member States to return assets obtained through corruption to the country from which they were stolen. It also introduces stronger cooperation framework between States parties to prevent and detect corruption and to return the proceeds.
Corrupt officials will in future find fewer ways to hide their illicit gains. This is a particularly important issue for many developing countries where corrupt high officials have plundered the national wealth and where new Governments badly need resources to reconstruct and rehabilitate their societies. Sudan as a conflict and post conflict society suffered in its recent history massive plunders of its resources through corruption, money laundering and mismanagement of public funds shall adopt the agenda of fighting corruption at the heart of its political and legal discourse; otherwise aspirations for change will be aborted in the eye of the masses thirsty for change, prosperity and development. If the Convention is fully enforced and implemented by states parties (including Sudan), this key international instrument can make a real difference to the quality of life of millions of people around the world. The UNCAC covers five main areas: preventive measures, criminalization and law enforcement, international cooperation, asset recovery, and technical assistance and information exchange. It also covers many different forms of corruption, such as bribery, trading in influence, abuse of functions, and various acts of corruption in the private sector. These dimensions will be explored within the context of Sudan’s context.