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AU delegation assesses impact of U.S. sanctions on North Darfur

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September 8, 2017 (EL-FASHER) - A delegation from the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), the legislative body of the African Union, has started a visit to North Darfur to assess the situation ahead of its meeting with the U.S. Congress to discuss the full lift of sanctions imposed on Sudan.

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North Darfur Governor Abdel Wahid Youssef (SUNA)

On Friday, the governor of North Darfur state Abdel-Wahid Youssef has briefed the visiting PAP delegation on the situation in his state and the challenges they are facing.

Following the meeting, PAP delegation member from Tunisia Munger Rahmy told reporters they came to assess the situation, pointing to the adverse impact of the sanctions on the economic, health, services and transportation sectors.

He added the PAP has formed a committee to discuss Sudan’s sanctions with the U.S. Congress, saying they came to North Darfur to receive first-hand information on issues of refugees, disarmament and development.

Rahmy pointed out that the sanctions hinder the government efforts to achieve the required development, saying the delegation is comprised of members from a number of African countries.

For his Part, Youssef said the PAP delegation would discuss Sudan’s sanctions with the U.S. Congress at the end of September, saying the visit comes to assess the situation in the region and impact of the sanctions on the development process.

Youssef added that he briefed the delegation on the general situation in the state and in particular the security and stability that have been achieved as well as the challenges pertaining to the IDPs, collection of illegal arms and development.

He stressed the need to lift the sanctions so that Sudan can benefit from the international funds in achieving comprehensive development, especially in the fields of infrastructure and services.

Darfur region has recently witnessed a number of visits by Western diplomats including from the U.S., European Union, France and the United Kingdom.

Washington is involved in a five-track engagement process with the Sudan over the permanent lift of sanctions on Sudan. The process includes the fight against terrorism, Uganda’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), Sudan’s role in the peace process in South Sudan, Sudan’s peace and the humanitarian situation in Darfur region, the South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.

Last January, former U.S. President Barack Obama issued an executive order easing the 19-year Sudan sanctions on a probationary basis. The sanctions relief was to become permanent on 12 July unless the U.S. Administration acted to stop it.

President Donald Trump, in a new executive order issued on 11 July, moved that deadline back by three months, while keeping the temporary sanctions relief in place, citing the need to take more time to assess the robust process.

(ST)

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