USA to Ease Decades-Old Sanctions Against Sudan

Laura Christensen
October 8, 2017

On Friday night, a senior U.S. official told reporters in Washington that "the United States has chose to formally revoke a number of economically focused sanctions on Sudan".

The government in Khartoum has also been seen by the United States to improve humanitarian access to former conflict zones and ended its attempts to destabilize South Sudan, which gained independence in July 2011.

Nauert further explained, "This action came about through a focused, 16-month diplomatic effort to make progress with Sudan in these key areas".

Sudan has been under US financial sanctions since the 1990s, when it was briefly home to Osama bin Laden and accused of sponsoring terrorism.

"It's a serious mistake for these sanctions to be lifted permanently when Sudan has made no progress on human rights", Andrea Prasow, deputy director of the Washington office of Human Rights Watch, was quoted by Reuters as saying.

In a written statement published late Friday, Sudanese Foreign Ministry said the leadership, government and people welcome the permanent lift of the economic sanctions.

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Washington first imposed sanctions on Sudan in 1997 for alleged links to terrorism.

The State Department website still cites the recent presence of al-Qaeda groups and Hamas in the country and notes, "Sudan has yet to take concrete steps to resolve the crisis in the Two Areas of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, to include ending aerial bombardments, allowing sufficient and sustained humanitarian access, and resuming political dialogue to resolve the conflicts".

Officials also said they asked for and got a commitment from Sudan not to purchase arms from Pyongyang. According to the United Nations, since 2003 when ethnic groups rebelled against the government at least 300,000 people have been killed and over 2.5 million have been displaced.

The Trump administration also recently removed Sudan from its travel ban. Al-Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court for committing crimes against humanity over the conflict in Darfur, which started in 2003 and led to the killing and rape of thousands of civilians and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of others.

"The Donald Trump administration is expected to announce its decision soon, possibly on Friday", the official added.

Other reports by My Hot News

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