9 October 2017
The United States has lifted key sanctions on Sudan, ending more than two decades of economic restrictions with the North African state.
The revocation, which will be effective as of 12 October, is expected to boost aspects of Sudan’s economy, such as aviation, agriculture and oil. It will put out a range of sanctions that included a trade embargo and blocking of Sudanese state-related assets.
As Sudan will still remain on the list of state sponsors of terrorism, related restrictions will continue to apply. These include controls on foreign assistance, defence export and sales, and controls over exports of dual-use items.
Sudan’s actions over the last nine months show that “it is serious about cooperating with the United States and has taken significant steps to stop conflict and improve humanitarian access within Sudan, and to promote regional stability,” a US government statement said.
The country’s “positive” actions include the maintenance of a cessation of hostilities in areas of its internal conflict, including Darfur and the states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile, the end of destabilising activity in South Sudan and building US-Sudan cooperation in countering terrorism, a US spokesperson explained.
Despite the noted efforts, the spokesman said much more progress is still needed to fully achieve peace in Sudan, and also on cooperating with the US on issues such as the full implementation of UN Security Council resolutions on North Korea.
US senator Patrick Leahy, in a statement on his website, said while he supported the Trump Administration’s July decision to extend the review period for easing sanctions against Sudan, the announcement to lift sanctions “is shockingly premature.”
“[Although] Sudan’s cooperation in some areas has improved, the government continues to impede humanitarian access and violate the fundamental rights of its citizens, as it has done for years under Omar al-Bashir, who is an indicted war criminal,” he stated.
(PHOTO -D. Stanley)