Year
Sudan
x

    Sudan

    Capital

    Khartoum

    Population

    42,813,238

    Area

    1,854,105 km²

    Geography type

    Coastal

    Gross domestic product (GDP)

    USD 30,513.46 million

    GDP per capita

    $442.00

    Income group

    Low income

    6.460.08

    Criminality Score

    8th of 54 African countries

    2nd of 9 East Africa countries

    Criminal market

    5.55-0.20

    Human Trafficking

    8.00-0.50

    Human Smuggling

    7.50-0.50

    Arms Trafficking

    8.50-0.50

    Flora Crimes

    1.500.00

    Fauna Crimes

    5.500.50

    Non-Renewable Resource Crimes

    7.50-1.00

    Heroin Trade

    2.000.00

    Cocaine Trade

    2.500.00

    Cannabis Trade

    8.00-0.50

    Synthetic Drug Trade

    4.500.50

    Criminal Actors

    7.380.38

    Mafia-Style Groups

    6.501.50

    Criminal Networks

    7.500.00

    State-Embedded Actors

    8.000.00

    Foreign Actors

    7.500.00

    2.960.13

    Resilience Score

    41st of 54 African countries

    6th of 9 East Africa countries

    Political Leadership and Governance

    3.000.00

    Government Transparency and Accountability

    2.000.00

    International Cooperation

    5.001.00

    National Policies and Laws

    4.50-2.00

    Judicial System and Detention

    3.500.00

    Law Enforcement

    3.500.00

    Territorial Integrity

    2.500.50

    Anti-Money Laundering

    4.000.00

    Economic Regulatory Capacity

    2.500.00

    Victim and Witness Support

    1.000.00

    Prevention

    2.001.00

    Non-State Actors

    2.001.00

    2.9583333333333 7.375 5.55 2.9583333333333 7.375 5.55

    2.960.13

    Resilience Score

    41st of 54 African countries

    6th of 9 East Africa countries

    Political Leadership and Governance

    3.000.00

    Government Transparency and Accountability

    2.000.00

    International Cooperation

    5.001.00

    National Policies and Laws

    4.50-2.00

    Judicial System and Detention

    3.500.00

    Law Enforcement

    3.500.00

    Territorial Integrity

    2.500.50

    Anti-Money Laundering

    4.000.00

    Economic Regulatory Capacity

    2.500.00

    Victim and Witness Support

    1.000.00

    Prevention

    2.001.00

    Non-State Actors

    2.001.00

    01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09

    People

    Sudan is a source, waypoint and a destination market for human trafficking. Victims in Sudan originate mostly in the West, East or the Horn of Africa, and are forced into domestic servitude, prostitution and debt bondage. Often, human trafficking victims begin their journeys consensually, before being exploited by traffickers. Notably, migrant children are especially at-risk to exploitation in mining and farming as well as to sexual exploitation. In terms of perpetrators, organized criminal networks facilitate trafficking through cell-based networks that pass victims between various nodes.

    Sudan is a major human smuggling hub, moving people towards North Africa and the Gulf. Smuggled migrants include Somali, Syrian and Yemeni nationals fleeing conflict and seeking migration into Europe. Individual smugglers and criminal groups engaging in human smuggling maintain strong links to the state. Most human smuggling networks use land routes in the Sahel, crossing highly militarized borders where migrants are vulnerable to predatory nomadic groups. The high levels of smuggling that occur are linked to corrupt state-embedded actors, predominantly low-level officials who work within border regions. Although many smugglers operating in Sudan are Sudanese, a significant number are Eritrean and Ethiopian.

    Trade

    Sudan is awash with weapons, largely due to the Sudanese government taking advantage of armed tribes to fight opposition groups by proxy. The armed struggle between Sudan and South Sudan triggered the heavy importation of armaments into the country, which have remained in circulation. Sudan has violated the UN arms embargo by reportedly providing three deliveries of weapons to resupply its security forces, and Sudanese arms traffickers are known to have also violated arms embargoes on the Central African Republic (CAR) by supplying weapons to Muslim rebels.

    Environment

    Although there is no evidence of an established illicit flora trade in Sudan, spillover from the illicit logging and charcoal trades in South Sudan is likely to exist. Conversely, Sudan is a transit hub for the illicit ivory trade. Ivory tusks are often smuggled into Sudan from the CAR, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and northern Gabon by a group of Sudanese horsemen, known as the Janjaweed Militia. Reports from the Trade Records Analysis of Flora and Fauna in Commerce and the Uganda Wildlife Authority suggest that ivory is increasingly smuggled through Sudan because of its lax legislation that enables traffickers. The decline of elephant populations in neighbouring South Sudan has reportedly triggered an increase in ivory prices. South Sudan, Uganda and the DRC exploit Sudan’s porous borders to traffic pangolins, and Sudanese pro-government militias are involved in poaching in the neighbouring CAR. However, little poaching exists on Sudanese territory, as nearly all Sudanese fauna have been decimated.

    Sudan is a source and transit country for the illicit trade of non-renewable resources. Gold is smuggled out of the country via organized criminal networks or laundered through government parastatals and has been directly linked to high levels of corruption and violence in Darfur. Gold smuggled out of the Sahel and CAR transits through Sudan and, in addition, illicit oil siphoning also serves as a major source of criminal income.

    Drugs

    Due to the high cost of obtaining heroin, both trafficking and consumption are relatively uncommon. Nevertheless, small quantities of heroin are reportedly trafficked into Sudan from neighbouring countries such as Egypt. Sudan serves as a transit point for cocaine trafficked from South American source countries to the Arabian Peninsula, alongside small amounts from neighbours such as Egypt.

    Sudan is one of the largest producers of cannabis in Africa and consumption is widespread. Cannabis is also smuggled out of Sudan to the Arabian Peninsula. Cannabis cultivation, consumption and trade are culturally established practices in Sudan, which operate as an informal industry rather than a criminal market. In 2015, cannabis cultivation in Sudan generated over 7 billion USD in profits and in 2019, Sudan reported the seizure of over 16 000 cannabis crops. The consumption of psycho-active substances in Sudan, particularly prescription drugs such as Tramadol and Captagon, has significantly increased over the last decade, with the latter reportedly being since recently produced in the country. Popular among university students, the drugs are smuggled into Sudan where they are sold in pharmacies. While Sudan's government has acknowledged an increase in illicit prescription drugs, amphetamines and opioids remain uncommon due to their cost.

    Criminal Actors

    Reportedly, state-embedded actors in Sudan are the most prominent criminal actor type in the country. The Rapid Support Forces (RSF) primarily comprises former Janjaweed militias and has links to other mafia-style groups in Sudan. Corrupt Sudanese police and border guards facilitate human trafficking, enabling the transportation of victims through security checkpoints and across international borders without intervention. Criminal networks operate in Sudan on a loose and uncoordinated basis and play a crucial role in drug and human trafficking. Human traffickers often have tribal ties to the Rashaida and Tabo tribes. Sudanese nomadic Fulani cattle herders also reportedly engage in wildlife crimes in the CAR, in particular through poaching giant eland and buffalo for bushmeat. While some armed actors have joined the transitional government, state control in areas in which criminal networks operate remains limited.

    Foreign actors, predominantly Libyans, work with Sudanese human traffickers, moving victims through Libya and Egypt and onto Europe. Criminal actors from the CAR and South Sudan are involved in smuggling illicit goods over Sudan’s borders. Since the outbreak of war in Syria, a network of Sudanese elites has targeted Syrian refugees by establishing an illicit market for Sudanese passports, enabling foreign criminal actors to both enter and flourish in Sudan. Sudanese mafia groups attempt to maintain high levels of control over their territories, consolidated via extortion, and usually express explicit pro- or anti-government sentiment. Mafia groups are involved in abductions, looting and cross-border smuggling and trafficking of goods and people as a means to finance their armed political activities. The groups are particularly active in the Darfur region and are known to recruit children.

    Leadership and governance

    Following Al-Bashir’s ousting, where laws were passed by decree, Sudan is attempting to transition into democracy. The obvious failure of the government to meaningfully address organized crime appears to be due to a lack of political will, corruption and inadequate legislative and legal infrastructure. Furthermore, the army remains influential in politics and dominant in the economy, which makes reforms even more difficult. Sudan is a highly vulnerable and unstable country, experiencing 16 separate coup attempts in its history, six of which were successful. The Bashir regime has left Sudan with deeply entrenched corruption, a weak rule of law and very poor transparency and accountability. Sudan is among the countries boasting the highest corruption perception globally, and access to information is extremely poor.

    Sudan has ratified most relevant international treaties pertaining to transnational organized crime. Some efforts have been made to cooperate with countries falling in the migration route between the Horn of Africa and Europe. Sudan, however, is in violation of international arms law with its practices in South Sudan and it is sometimes an unwilling and uncooperative international partner. Sudan only has a limited legislative framework to combat organized crime. The African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies has called for the transitional government to improve human trafficking legislation to allow authorities to better define and tackle the practice. Sudan has cybercrime legislation in place and a committee to introduce strict measures against illegal gold and currency smuggling. In July 2020, the transitional government published The Law of Various Amendments Abolishing and Amending Provisions Restricting Freedom, which while not directly tackling organized crime markets, is relevant for advancing human rights and citizenship rights in the country.

    Criminal justice and security

    Sudan lacks specialized judicial units tasked with countering organized crime and although the constitution guarantees an independent judiciary, the judiciary is in practice influenced by either the Sudanese president or security forces. Judicial appointments are made by members of the ruling party, and judges who fail to support the state are easily removed, making it difficult for judges to provide independent rulings in cases involving the state. While Sudan’s Ministry of Justice under the transitional government has reportedly made some attempts at reform, the judiciary continues to lack the capacity and resources to effectively counter organized crime. Organized criminal actors have largely captured law enforcement and use it to repress any efforts to fight against organized crime. Sudanese authorities lack the necessary resources to confront organized crime networks, and regularly use pro-government militias who are themselves engaged in trafficking activities. Law enforcement efforts directed at human trafficking and smuggling have reportedly been outsourced to the Rapid Response Fund, who have also been accused of abuse and impunity. Nevertheless, the Sudanese Armed Forces launched a unit to protect children in war zones and trained over 5 000 military officials to help at-risk children.

    Sudan’s border is extremely long and difficult to monitor and police, making it highly porous as a consequence. As the Sudanese government lacks the necessary resources to prevent cross-border crime, it resorts to using state of emergency and border closures to gain control. It is easy for vehicles to enter the country illegally from Libya and the CAR without being detected. The latter are used to carry out other forms of transnational crime, including illegal mining. It is also important to note that as the border between Sudan and South Sudan is yet to be determined, the territorial integrity of both countries is weakened.

    Economic and financial environment

    In 2015, Sudan was removed from the Financial Action Task Force blacklist following the country’s adoption of a law to combat money laundering and terrorism financing. The country has consolidated both financial investigations and intelligence through information-sharing mechanisms between financial institutions. The Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force assesses Sudan as largely compliant with all their core recommendations, however, implementation remains a challenge, and Sudan continues to lobby for the removal of terrorism-related sanctions. Moreover, Sudan’s poor economy and the significant differences between the Central Bank and black-market exchange rates likely perpetuate the illicit flow of funds in Sudan. The country lacks an efficient economic regulatory regime and operates with a largely informal economy. Unstable governance, rigid labour markets and an incredibly weak rule of law hinder economic diversification. Sudan performs poorly in areas of regulatory quality and the ease of doing business due to poor economic protections.

    Civil society and social protection

    Sudanese authorities fail to provide support to both drug users and human trafficking victims. The latter are often subjected to criminal penalties for crimes committed while being trafficked and there is a lack of measures to identify sex trafficking victims. The RSF has allegedly engaged in child soldiering and yet there have been no reports of official investigations. Indicative of the dire situation in relation to victim support is the fact that Sudan reportedly only meets 2% of the mechanisms identified to aid victims in exiting modern slavery. The country’s most common tool to attempt to combat organized crime appears to be border closures and state of emergency, which demonstrates a far more reactive approach to organized crime rather than a preventative one. The Sudanese government puts forth minimal effort to prevent corruption among state-embedded officials and due to a lack of resources, Sudanese authorities also often rely on criminally involved pro-government militias to enforce their policies. However, improvements have been made by the transitional government to resolve unclear divisions of responsibility between human trafficking organizations and to improve capacity for coordination of anti-trafficking mechanisms. The Sudanese transitional government continues to regard and treat civil society organizations (CSOs) in the country as government opposition. Moreover, security officials under the former regime cracked down on CSOs in response to peaceful protests. Although press freedoms are extremely poor in Sudan, they have improved under the transitional government. Reporters Without Borders indicate that the former Sudanese regime was exceptionally hostile to press freedom and resorted to harassment, censorship, seizures, closures and internet cuts to control the press. The National Intelligence and Security Service reportedly employed the most brutal methods to silence dissent, and it is unclear how much more this will improve under the new government.

    Analyses

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    The criminal markets score is represented by the pyramid base size and the criminal actors score is represented by the pyramid height, on a scale ranging from 1 to 10. The resilience score is represented by the panel height, which can be identified by the side of the panel.