U.S. to lift sanctions Sudan

Posted October 08, 2017

Saudi Arabia has succeeded in persuading the USA administration to lift economic sanctions imposed on Sudan.

Lifting the sanctions, which is opposed by some human rights advocates, will suspend a trade embargo, unfreeze assets and remove financial restrictions that have hobbled the Sudanese economy, the official pointed out.

"We have received praise from both the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN) for our efforts in this regard", Ahmed Abu Zeid told ANA.

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

She said the move recognised Sudan's "sustained positive actions" but more progress was needed.

Though Sudan will remain, for now, on the USA list of state sponsors of terrorism, alongside Iran and Syria, and thus subject to other restrictive measures, the new decision reflects a U.S. assessment that the state has made progress in meeting Washington's demands, including cooperation on counter-terrorism, working to resolve internal conflicts and allowing more humanitarian aid into Darfur and other rebellious border areas.

Washington's decision marks a substantial turnaround for President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and his government, which once hosted Osama bin Laden.

The US extended the sanctions regime a decade later over the Darfur conflict. Sudan has no formal relations with North Korea, and, as a senior administration official noted, the two states do not maintain embassies in each other's capitals.

The United States is preparing to lift decades-old economic sanctions against Sudan, citing improvement on human rights and progress on counter-terrorism, a U.S. official said on Thursday.

Sanctions on Sudan were temporarily eased under the presidency of Barack Obama.

Sudan routinely shows up as a country of particular concern on State Department reports assessing human rights and religious freedom.

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

Bashir, who has ruled Sudan since 1989, is accused by the ourt of committing genocide in Darfur.

Last month, the USA administration removed Sudan from the list of countries whose citizens are subject to travel restrictions. The government has announced unilateral cease-fires in areas where the Sudanese army has been fighting rebels, and created more access for humanitarian aid to get to displaced civilians.

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".