Wednesday, 16 January, 2019

USA ready to lift sanctions on Sudan, says official

Women and children line up for water at a refugee camp in South Sudan on 31 October 2012 Women and children line up for water at a refugee camp in South Sudan on 31 October 2012
Melinda Barton | 07 October, 2017, 02:43

But work remains to be done, and Washington wants to see more improvement in Sudan's behavior before there is talk of restoring full diplomatic ties.

The lifting of sanctions is "in recognition of the Government of Sudan's sustained positive actions to maintain a cessation of hostilities in conflict areas in Sudan", US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.

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

In order for the U.S. administration to lift the Sudan's embargo, the Sudanese government must "cooperate on counter-terrorism measures, work to resolve internal conflicts and allow more humanitarian aid into Darfur and other rebel border areas", the USA official noted.

The US state department announced its decision to revoke the penalising measures - in place since 1997 - on Friday.

While the USA has yet to comment on the matter, Sudan's State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hamed Momtaz, indicated to Reuters that an agreement has been reached with the U.S. over the sanctions.

Sudanese officials also remain subject to separate sanctions stemming from human rights abuses during the Darfur conflict, the officials told reporters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

But in July, Trump extended the review period to October 12. Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour said at the time that he saw the easing of the sanctions as "a right" and that Sudan would reject any other decision. Sudan was the only country to be removed from the new list, which also added restrictions on several additional countries.

Last week, the Republican chairmen of the Senate and House judiciary committees urged caution before lifting sanctions in a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

The U.S. government has said it is deciding whether to lift a raft of penalties imposed first over Khartoum's perceived support of global terrorism, later its violent suppression of rebels in Darfur.