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Bringing Back Sudan’s Looted Economy

Sudanese authorities have begun to recover billions of dollars of real estate amassed illegally by deposed dictator Omar al-Bashir’s regime, but other assets will be difficult to seize, experts say. “Initial estimates indicate that the real estate and properties owned by the former regime … range (in value) from $3.5 to $4bn,” said Salah Manaa, a spokesperson for a committee fighting corruption and dismantling the old regime. The new anti-graft committee began work in December, and answers to a power-sharing government of civilians and generals were established in August. Less than six months into its mandate, the committee is following a monumental paper trail on the former regime’s assets. The investigators have so far recovered hotels, farms, shopping centres, agricultural lands and other properties in Khartoum and other cities from the former leader’s relatives and aides. Manaa said international experts would be brought in to help assess the assets’ value — a task that has not yet moved beyond rough estimates — before transferring their ownership to the finance ministry.