News Worms
News Worms

State Department to Lift Sanctions on State Sponsor of Terrorism Sudan

State Department to Lift Sanctions on State Sponsor of Terrorism Sudan

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

Rights groups raised concerns that it would be premature to remove sanctions.

The decision to partially lift the embargo was taken in January of this year, still in Barack Obama's second term, and should have gone into effect in 180 days, but the Donald Trump administration postponed the deadline for three additional months.

"Ties between Sudan and USA date back to before Sudan's independence and we are looking forward to fully normalizing relations and we feel that the Americans are now having the same desire", the top diplomat said. In 2013, for example, Sudan reportedly purchased more than six million dollars worth of North Korean man-portable surface-to-air missiles in a deal that flouted United Nations arms sanctions against both countries. Now slain Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden lived in Sudan between 1992 to 1996.

"It sends the wrong message to lift these sanctions permanently when Sudan has made so little progress on human rights", said Andrea Prasow, deputy director of the Washington office of Human Rights Watch.

The Trump administration also secured a commitment from Sudan that it would "not pursue an arms deals" with North Korea, an official said.

"The lifting of sanctions is a very important step", a State Department official told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

Bashir, who has ruled Sudan since 1989, is accused by the ourt of committing genocide in Darfur. Washington layered on more sanctions in 2006 for what it said was complicity in the violence in Sudan's Darfur region.

The United Nations says 300,000 people have died in the conflict and 2.7 million have fled their homes.

Citizens of Sudan were removed from the USA travel ban restrictions last month.

Senior State Department officials emphasized that that status was not affected by Friday's announcement and more progress would be needed if Sudan were to leave that unsavory company.

The decision will contribute to enhancing stability and development in Sudan after a long time suffering from the consequences of sanctions, said Ahmed Abu Zeid, the Foreign Ministry Spokesman in a press statement.


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