United States poised to lift longstanding Sudan sanctions

08 October, 2017, 00:40 | Author: Brian Mcdaniel
  • Somali president reaches Sudan for two-day visit

Sanctions on Sudan could be lifted by the United States administration on Friday, according to anonymous Washington officials quoted by global news organisations.

The White House statement said lifting the sanctions would be postponed for six months to encourage the Sudanese government to maintain its human rights and counter-terrorism efforts.

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

It will also mark a major turnaround for the government of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir.

The negotiations required Sudan to cease internal hostilities, improve humanitarian access throughout the country, end destabilizing activity in neighboring South Sudan, build and deepen cooperation with the US on counterterrorism, and improving regional security.

In justifying the decision, the administration will assert that Sudan has continued making progress on several areas of concern, officials said.

The Sudanese government said on Wednesday that "it has fulfilled all the necessary conditions relating to the roadmap", stressing that "the USA administration is a witness to that and therefore we expect the sanctions to be lifted".

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

Officials also said they asked for and got a commitment from Sudan not to purchase arms from Pyongyang. The sanctions were temporarily eased in January just before President Barack Obama left office, citing the same progress the Trump administration noted.

The United States will revoke a range of economic sanctions it had imposed on Sudan effective on October 12, a senior USA administration official told reporters on Friday.

The U.S. had worked to isolate Sudan since the military coup that brought al-Bashir to power in 1989.

The Trump administration also recently removed Sudan from its travel ban.

Sudan will stay on the USA list of state sponsors of terrorism, alongside Iran and Syria, which carries a ban on weapons sales and restrictions on U.S. aid, US officials said, according to Reuters. In 2016 rights group Amnesty International accused government forces of killing scores of civilians in at least 30 suspected chemical weapons attacks in a remote area of the country's Darfur region.

In response, the Sudanese Foreign Ministry issued a statement, saying, "The leaders of Sudan, the government of Sudan and the people of Sudan welcome the positive decision taken by American President Donald Trump of removing the economic sanctions completely".

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