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Sudan condemns U.S. travel warning

July 3, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan has condemned a travel advisory issued by the US State Department warning its citizens against travelling to Darfur region, Blue Nile state, and South Kordofan state due to crime and armed conflict.

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Sudan’s foreign ministry building in Khartoum (SUNA)

The issuance of that warning at a time Sudan is witnessing a positive political and security atmosphere (...) lacks objective justifications and negates the positive reality which recently allowed a U.S. Embassy delegation to travel to Darfur and move freely between all its states.

The statement said the security advisory ignore the reality on the ground in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states where the government has declared a cessation of hostilities.

The Sudanese foreign ministry spokesperson further said the warning contradicts United Nations reports on Darfur especially the most recent report on the UNAMID strategic review, which recommends continuing the implementation of the exit strategy of the hybrid forces from Darfur.

Several Sudanese media focused on a paragraph in the statement speaking about the presence of terrorist groups that target "foreign and local government facilities, and areas frequented by Westerners" in Khartoum.

"Terrorist groups in Sudan have stated their intent to harm Westerners and Western interests through suicide operations, bombings, shootings, and kidnappings," said the statement.

However, the foreign ministry reiterated Sudan’s commitment to work with international partners to fight terrorism and promote regional security, without further details.

U.S. officials last October invoked Khartoum cooperation with the US to fight terrorism to justify the lift of economic embargo on Sudan.

Nonetheless, Sudan remains on the list of state sponsors of terrorism.

The two countries since January have declared they would begin talks on the removal of the east African country from the list but no date was announced. Only, U.S. diplomatic, security and military delegations visited Khartoum to prepare the discussions.

(ST)