Sudan welcomes USA decision to lift 20-year sanctions

Pauline Gross
October 8, 2017

He added that the decision comes in line with Egypt's solidarity with Sudan and efforts it has always exerted, including its frequent calls for lifting the sanctions in addition to contacts it held with the US side in that regard.

Sudan also has recently distanced itself diplomatically from Iran, another USA arch-foe.

The move will give Sudan access to the global banking system but President al-Bashir remains a war crimes suspect.

However, the partial lifting of sanctions did not remove Sudan from the list of states sponsoring terrorism. It also remains subject to separate United Nations Security Council sanctions related to its violent crackdown on opposition groups in Darfur, for which Sudan's President, Omar al-Bashir, faces global criminal prosecution on charges of crimes against humanity, including genocide.

Andrew Prasow, from Human Rights Watch, told Reuters that lifting the sanctions "sent the wrong message" when Sudan had "made so little progress on human rights".

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

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As a separate part of the deal, the Sudanese government pledged not to pursue the importation of any weapons from North Korea, the official said. The State Department statement notes that "further normalization of ties will require continued progress by the Government of Sudan", and threatens to apply pressure if the Sudanese government regresses in any of the five areas.

Sanctions were first imposed on Khartoum in 1997, when it harboured fugitives including Osama bin Laden.

This took place when President Barack Obama announced lifting some of the economic sanctions imposed on Sudan, citing "positive" developments by the country over the past six months.

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

"We see this as an important milestone, but one on a road that's going to take a lot longer to get to where we want to go in Sudan", said the official, speaking on the condition of anonymity under State Department guidelines.

"Sudan looks forward to building normal relations with the United States", the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Other reports by GizPress

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