Sudan: U.S. Renewal of Economic Sanctions Draws Rebuke By Sudan

Photo: Human Rights Watch
Displaced (file photo).

Washington — The Sudanese government condemned the US president Barack Obama's decision to renew the comprehensive economic sanctions imposed on the country since more than a decade ago describing it as politically motivated.

Despite the decision being routinely expected this time ever year, the foreign ministry in Khartoum said in a statement that the intention of Washington is to "harm the vital interests of the people of Sudan by blocking its aspirations in development and impeding steps to promote peace".

Sudan pointed out that Washington had repeatedly acknowledged that Khartoum fulfilled conditions for lifting sanctions but that the US administration reneged on its promises. It stressed that Sudan is committed to preserving its sovereignty and independence of its decisions

Obama said in his memorandum released by the White House today that the actions and policies of the government of Sudan are hostile to US interests and continue to pose an "unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States."

"Therefore, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared with respect to Sudan and maintain in force the sanctions against Sudan to respond to this threat."

In October 1997, the US imposed comprehensive economic, trade and financial sanctions against Sudan in response to its alleged connection to terror networks and human rights abuses. Further sanctions, particularly on weapons, have been imposed since the 2003 outbreak of violence in the western Darfur region.

From 1991 to 1996 Sudan hosted Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, who was killed in Pakistan by US Navy SEALS last year.

But since 2001 Sudan has cooperated extensively with the US on counterterrorism matters drawing praise by Washington in terrorism assessment as recent as this year.

According to the annual US terrorism report, the Sudanese government continued to work last year on limiting activities of Al-Qaeda inspired groups operating in Sudan, while also disrupting foreign fighters' use of Sudan as a "logistics base and transit point for violent extremists going to Iraq and Afghanistan".

Except for Hamas, the government "does not openly support the presence of terrorist elements within its borders," the report said.

It added that Sudan maintains a relationship with Iran, another terrorism sponsor.

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InFocus

U.S. Renews Sanctions Against Sudan

Displaced (file photo).

The government has condemned the decision to renew sanctions, accusing the United States of America of blocking the country's aspirations in development and impeding steps to ... Read more »