United States lifts Sudan economic and trade sanctions

United States lifts Sudan economic and trade sanctions

In addition, separate sanctions for the Darfur crisis will remain in place - as the USA still seeks to hold those responsible for crimes in Darfur to account and find justice for the victims, one senior administration official said.

Rights groups see the sanctions removal as premature. Officials in Sudan say that since the September 11, 2001, attacks, the Sudanese have been cooperating with USA intelligence.

The July delay infuriated al-Bashir's government, which immediately announced it was freezing negotiations with the United States in retaliation.

The Sudanese foreign ministry said it was looking forward to building "a normal relation with the United States, but wants its name to be removed from the list of state sponsors of terrorism as there is no reason to have Sudan in that list". This action came about through a focused, 16-month diplomatic effort to make progress with Sudan in these key areas.

Sudan has been under USA financial sanctions since the 1990s, when it was briefly home to Osama bin Laden and accused of sponsoring terrorism. The sanctions had cut Sudan off from much of the global financial community.

U.S. officials cited improvements by the country's government in the areas of counter-terrorism and access to humanitarian aid as reasons for lifting the sanctions.

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

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Bob Goodlatte noted Sudan's "historical support of global terrorism" and argued the US must first secure commitments that American victims and their families will be compensated.

Shortly before leaving office, former President Barack Obama temporarily eased penalties that had been in place for 20 years against the African nation.

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

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

However, Sudan will stay on the US list of state sponsors of terrorism - alongside Iran and Syria - which carries a ban on weapons sales and restrictions on USA aid, US officials said.

Sudan was one of seven countries on US President Donald Trump's travel ban, first issued in January. The sanctions were later reinforced due to the civil conflict in the Darfur area.