Sudan cries foul after US extends sanctions

Wednesday July 12 2017

President Omar al-Bashir speaks during a meeting in El-Fasher, in North Darfur on April 1, 2016. PHOTO | AFP


Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has issued a decree freezing the work of a committee formed with the United States to negotiate sanctions relief until October 12, state news agency SUNA said on Wednesday.

The United States on Tuesday postponed for three months a decision on whether to permanently lift sanctions on Sudan over its human rights record and other issues.

The Sudanese government has objected the extension of the economic sanctions for three more months, describing it as unjustified.

Foreign minister Ibrahim Ghandour told the press in Khartoum Wednesday that the decision was based on fabricated reports and unfounded doubts by some American lobbies working against Sudan.

He stressed that Khartoum had fully committed to the implementation of the US conditions of the five-track deal, topped by the cooperation in the war against terrorism.

"We are regretting this decision after the long engagement and dialogue between us and the Americans. American and international monitors have witnessed the full implementation of the five-track agreement," the minister emphasised.


US President Donald Trump extended by three more months, the final decision on the lifting of the Sudan sanctions.

READ: Trump extends review period for Sudan sanctions

The US Department of State said in a press release on Wednesday that the decision was to allow more time to implement the five-track deal, agreed earlier between Washington and Khartoum.

The deal includes the cooperation with the US in addressing regional conflicts and the threat of terrorism, cessation of hostilities in conflict areas in Sudan, improving humanitarian access throughout Sudan, support for the peace process in South Sudan and the cooperation in the combating of the Ugandan rebels of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).

The Sudanese chief diplomat strongly objected to any additional conditions by the US.

He further mocked the US demand of monitoring the human rights and religious freedoms in the country.

"The situations of human rights was not part of the five-track deal and they all know that the rights of the Sudanese people were already maintained, but these are the fabricated reports of the lobby group working against Sudan," the minister said.

The US has added more conditions related to the improvement of the human rights and religious freedom in Sudan, in addition to the commitment by Khartoum to the UN Security Council resolutions on North Korea.

Last January, the administration of former US President Barak Obama decided to temporarily ease the two-decades sanctions as Khartoum committed to the five track deal within six months.

READ: Opinion divided on Trump lifting Sudan sanctions

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The US imposed the unilateral economic sanctions on Sudan in 1997.

Khartoum remains on the US list of the countries accused of sponsoring terrorism since 1993.

*Story updated to include Bashir's freeze on committee.

-Additional reporting by Reuters.