November 1, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s government has described the United States President Barack Obama’s order to extend sanctions on Sudan as “unjust” saying it is inconsistent with his administration’s recognition of Khartoum’s role in the fight against terrorism.
- The US imposed comprehensive sanctions on Sudan in 1997 (US Embassy in Khartoum website)
Sudan has been under American economic and trade sanctions since 1997 for its alleged connection to terror networks and remains on the U.S. list of state sponsors of terror.
On Monday, U.S. President Barak Obama extended the 19-year embargo on Sudan for another year, saying Khartoum actions and policies that caused these sanctions continue to pose a threat to the national security and U.S. foreign policy.
However, the U.S. Department of State issued a separate statement minimizing renewal of the sanctions, saying it is “a technical decision and part of a routine, annual process that does not prejudice the ability of the President to provide sanctions relief at any point in the future”.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, Sudan’s embassy in Washington described Obama’s order as “unjust”, saying it contradicts with the statement issued by the U.S. States Department acknowledging Sudan’s active role in combating terrorism in the region.
On 21 September 2016, the Department of State welcomed Sudanese government efforts to combat terrorism and its increased cooperation with Washington.
“While countering terrorism is an important objective for the United States, we continue to engage the Government of Sudan on protecting human rights, resolving internal conflicts, addressing humanitarian needs, improving regional stability, and advancing political freedoms, accountability and reconciliation," further said the statement.
The diplomatic mission stressed that the unilateral coercive U.S. sanctions constitute a "blatant violation of human rights", pointing to its adverse impact on human rights conditions in Sudan and elsewhere.
For his part, Sudan’s Information Minister Ahmed Belal Osman described Obama’s order to extend the sanctions for another year as “routine decision” that brings nothing new.
He told the semi-official Sudan Media Center (SMC) that the remaining period for President Obama in office wouldn’t allow him to take any measure to lift the sanctions, saying Khartoum got accustomed to hear such a decision every year.
Osman underscored Sudan’s cooperation with the U.S. in the war against terror, stating that Khartoum is dealing with Washington cautiously.
He added that Washington should abide by its pledges to lift the unilateral sanctions on Sudan, renewing his government’s keenness to achieve peace and stability in Sudan and the region particularly South Sudan.
Sudanese officials recently expressed hopes that President Obama before the end of his second term would lift the sanctions on the eastern African country, saying Washington is convinced of its inefficiency and that it harms ordinary Sudanese.
It is noteworthy that Washington eased the sanctions imposed on agriculture equipment and services, and allowed exports of personal communications hardware and software. Also, the U.S. Treasury Department removed the private Bank of Khartoum from a blacklist of Sudanese entities.