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U.S. congressional delegation to visit Khartoum this month

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U.S. Capitol (Reuters photo)
March 9, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese parliament on Saturday said a delegation from the United States Congress would visit Khartoum during this month.

The semi-official Sudan Media Center (SMC) quoted the head of the parliamentary sub-committee on foreign relations Mutwakil al-Tigani the visit comes in continuation of previous visits by U.S. legislators.

He pointed out that U.S. lawmakers have visited Sudan during the past period to check on the freedoms and human rights situation in the country as well as the conditions in the war-affected areas in Darfur and South Kordofan.

Al-Tigani added the second phase of dialogue between Khartoum and Washington aims to lift Sudan’s name from the U.S. list of states sponsors of terrorism.

Sudanese continue to organise daily protests including demonstrations, sit-ins and meetings despite the brutal crackdown by the police, security forces and militiamen of the ruling National Congress Party.

Since December 2019, some 31 people were killed across the country according to the Sudanese authorities but activists and rights groups say the death toll is over 50 people.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last month expressed hope that calls by Sudanese people for regime change will be heard.

In October 2017, the U.S. Administration permanently lifted 20-year-old economic sanctions against Sudan citing positive actions on humanitarian access and counter-terrorism.

The decision was in line with a “Five Track Engagement Plan”, in which Khartoum agreed to a cessation of hostilities with the armed groups, opened unfettered humanitarian access in the conflict-affected areas, agreed to support efforts for peace in South Sudan and developed cooperation with the U.S. to counter terrorism in the region.

However, Washington didn’t remove Sudan’s name from the list of state sponsors of terrorism. In addition, it keeps in place targeted sanctions against individuals with arrest warrants related to atrocities committed during the conflict in Darfur.

Last November, Khartoum and Washington signed a framework agreement for Sudan removal from the list of countries supporting terrorism. Accordingly, Khartoum has to ensure freedoms and fundamental democratic reforms.

(ST)

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