Home | News    Friday 23 December 2016

Is President Obama going to lift sanctions on Sudan during his final month

separation
increase
decrease
separation
separation

By Paul Brandus

December 22, 2016 (WASHINGTON) - The Obama administration has no intention to lift sanctions on Sudan despite the growing rumours about a possible decision on this respect, Sudan Tribune has learnt.

JPEG - 17.7 kb
U.S. President Barack Obama signs the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 into law in the Oval Office the White House in Washington on March 29, 2016 (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst Photo)

During the year 2016, the U.S. Special Envoy for the two Sudans Donald Booth worked hard to support the efforts of the African Union mediation team to end the armed conflicts in Darfur and the Two Areas. Multiple sources say President Barak Obama intends to use the sanction to bring Khartoum to make the necessary concessions and to convince the armed opposition groups to sign a peace agreement leading to the removal of the 19-year trade and financial embargo.

Sanctions have been imposed on Sudan by the United States since 1997, when the administration of then-President Bill Clinton began a trade embargo and blocked assets of the Sudanese government. Sanctions have remained for the ensuing two decades, through the presidencies of George W. Bush and Obama.

President Obama himself has not commented publicly on Sudan or the sanctions issue; nor has it come up during press briefings here at White House. This does not mean the president and his advisors have not considered the issue—but the silence thus far can be interpreted as meaning that there has been no change in the administration’s position.

One State Department official, asked about a possible policy change before Obama leaves office was doubtful. The official, who was not authorized to speak on the record, said it seemed “quite likely” that the issue will be handed over to the incoming administration of Donald Trump.

Yet the administration has acknowledged efforts by the Sudanese government that suggest a lifting of sanctions is possible. In its annual report on global terrorism, the State Department noted in 2014 that:

"In general, the Government of Sudan appeared to oppose the financing of extremist elements… The Central Bank of Sudan and its financial intelligence unit, renamed the Financial Information Unit in late 2014, circulated to financial institutions a list of individuals and entities that have been included on the UN 1267 sanctions committee’s consolidated list, as well as the US government’s lists of terrorist organizations/financiers. The financing of terrorism per UN Resolution 1373 was criminalized in Sudan pursuant to Sudan’s Money Laundering Act of 2003.

The Government of Sudan continued to cooperate with the Financial Action Task Force and took steps to meet international standards in combating money laundering and terrorist financing. In 2014, Sudan adopted a new Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Terrorism Finance Act and ratified the UN Convention Against Corruption. Sudan’s Central Bank officials did not freeze, seize and/or forfeit assets in 2014. Sudan continued to cooperate with the United States in investigating financial crimes related to terrorism.”

For his part, Trump—who only last week announced his choice for secretary of state—has never commented publicly on Sudan or American sanctions against it. His nominee for State—outgoing ExxonMobil chief executive Rex Tillerson—has not commented either. Tillerson’s nomination itself is seen as problematic, given his long ties to Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin.

Could Trump, once he becomes president, end American sanctions against Sudan? One sign that this may be so—but is far from guaranteed—is the possible appointment of J. Peter Pham as undersecretary of African Affairs.

Pham, currently Director of the Africa Center at the Atlantic Council in Washington, has questioned the need for sanctions. In June, Pham, writing on the Council’s website, said the United States needs more—not less—engagement with Sudan. An excerpt of his article:

“America has a number of outstanding issues on which it needs, if anything, to expand its dialogue with Sudan, looking for openings through which to engage both regime interlocutors and representatives of the political opposition, civil society, religious groups, and the private sector. Stubbornly maintaining a nearly generation-old designation whose original justifications have been rendered largely obsolete—if not altogether moot by actual counterterrorism cooperation—seems hardly the most effective way to go about achieving the goals of promoting better mutual understanding and, ultimately, of contributing practical resolutions to pressing domestic and regional conflicts.”

Pham continues: “While US-Sudanese relations have often been difficult in the more than twenty years since the African country was first designated a “state sponsor of terrorism,” it is hard nowadays to convincingly argue that the reasons that motivated that declaration still hold.”

If nominated for the post, Pham would need Senate confirmation, a two-step process. He would first appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and, if approved, face a vote by the full Senate itself.

(ST)

Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 23 December 2016 18:20, by ngadodo

    That right, if Pdt Salva Kiir making peace in South Sudan sanction will be in place until Salva Kiir ideology back down. Chase others ethnics tribes a ways in order to make corruptions money of Country to Dinkaism becoming more riches then before because and grape land to you Dinkaism.

    repondre message

    • 23 December 2016 18:26, by ngadodo

      That right, if Pdt Salva Kiir making peace in South Sudan sanction will be in place until Salva Kiir ideology back down. Chases others ethnics tribes always in order corruptions for money of Country to Dinkaism to let them becoming more riches then before and grape land to you Dinkaism.

      repondre message

Comment on this article



The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.


Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis


Wedding in Juba - How can you tell if a bridegroom works for Nilepet? 2017-02-24 05:25:41 By Deng Kiir Akok The Nile Petroleum Corporation is a national Oil and Gas Corporation, which engages in oil exploration, production and marketing. Famous for its abbreviation Nilepet has been a (...)

Bashir’s congratulation for Trump remains double-edged sword 2017-02-21 08:47:41 By Mahmoud A. Suleiman This is a note to the readers of this article about my use of the phrase double-edged sword. It means that Omar al-Bashir’s Speedy congratulation offer to Donald Trump (...)

South Sudan: Why ’NO’ for peace and ’YES’ for war 2017-02-20 20:45:12 By Tor Madira Machier The region and the International community has been on a campaign in a bid to end the civil war in South Sudan right after its inception in December 2013, yet the very (...)


MORE






Latest Press Releases


Militias of Bashir’s Regime and the Proxy War (1) 2017-02-08 21:49:09 Sudan Democracy First Group Militias of Bashir’s Regime and the Proxy War (1) War in the Blue Nile: Militias in the hunt of refugees and displaced population Introduction Throughout its rule, (...)

More refugees flee to Uganda than across Mediterranean 2017-01-25 09:15:39 January 25, 2017 Uganda welcomed more refugees last year than the total number of refugees and migrants crossing the Mediterranean into Europe. “Europe should learn from the way Uganda and other (...)

Carter Center welcomes new regulations on humanitarian affairs 2017-01-12 07:53:16 The Carter Center ATLANTA, Januarg 11, 2017 – The Carter Center welcomes the recent regulations issued by the government of Sudan aimed at facilitating humanitarian relief throughout the country (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2017 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.