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Sudan denounces US decision to maintain the country on terror list

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May 1,2014 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese foreign ministry has rejected the American administration’s decision to maintain Sudan on the list of countries sponsoring terrorism, saying it is politically motivated.

The annual Country Reports on Terrorism issued on Wednesday continued to list Sudan as a country supporting international terrorism, although the report notes that “the Government of Sudan remained a generally cooperative counterterrorism partner and continued to take action to address threats to US interests and personnel in Sudan”.

The report said despite Khartoum’s efforts terrorist groups continued to operate in Sudan in 2013, adding that there are reports of Sudanese nationals participating in terrorist organisations, citing the attack on Westgate Mall in Nairobi last year.

The report also said that over the past year authorities continued to allow members of Hamas to travel, fundraise and live in Sudan.

In a statement released on Thursday in Khartoum, the foreign ministry said that the decision to keep the country on the list has no relation to terrorism and aims to achieve an American political agenda in Sudan.

“Maintaining Sudan on the list is due to political reasons that have nothing to do with terrorism as explained the former special envoy [to Sudan], Scott Gration, in a hearing at the Congress in July 2009,” the statement said.

Sudan, which has been on the terror list since 1993, is gravely affected by the economic sanctions.

Khartoum has long accused the American administration and US congressmen of targeting the regime of president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir and supporting Juba and Sudanese rebel groups.

However, Washington said they can only remove the East African country from the list of states supporting terror if the Sudanese government opens humanitarian access to civilians in rebel-held areas and reach a peaceful settlement of the conflict in Blue Nile and South Kordofan states.

Former special envoy for the two Sudans Princeton Lyman said resolving outstanding issues between Sudan and South Sudan was key to improving relations with Khartoum and the lifting of economic sanctions.

(ST)

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