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US Treasury warns investors from circumventing Sudan sanctions

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By Wasil Ali

May 30, 2007 (WASHINGTON) — The US department of Treasury warned today that any American citizens attempting to circumvent sanctions on Sudan face “civil and potentially criminal penalties”.

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Akbar Muhammad

The US Treasury Spokesperson told Sudan Tribune that investment in Sudan by U.S. persons is prohibited “unless exempted or otherwise authorized”.

A delegation of US businessmen is currently in Khartoum to explore business opportunities in different sectors, Sudanese media reported. The visit was organized by the Sudanese investment ministry to a group of 23 American investors working in the fields of agriculture, manufacturing, dam construction, education and health. Sources told Sudan Tribune that the delegation is led by Akbar Muhammad the international representative of the US Black Muslim movement, Nation of Islam.

The United States under Clinton’s administration imposed economic sanctions against Sudan in 1997 because of the country’s alleged support of international terrorist activities. The order prohibits the imports of Sudanese goods or exports of US technology and goods to the East African nation. President Bush strengthened the existing sanctions against Sudan in October 2006 in accordance with the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act of 2006 passed by the congress.

The US Treasury Spokesperson declined to comment specifically on the visit by the Nation of Islam delegation but she noted that US persons may “invest in the exempt areas of Sudan, provided that the investment does not involve Sudan’s petroleum or petrochemical industries or any property or interests in property of the Government of Sudan”. However she stressed that “non-exempt areas of Sudan continue to be subject to comprehensive sanctions”.

U.S. President George W. Bush imposed new unilateral sanctions on Sudan on Tuesday and sought support for an international arms embargo out of frustration at Sudan’s refusal to end what he called genocide in war-ravaged Darfur. Bush announced new sanctions that would bar 31 companies controlled by Sudan from doing business in the U.S. financial system.

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