22 April 2019

Sudan: Delegation to Visit U.S. to Discuss Removal from Terror List

Photo: Sudanow
The Central Bank of Sudan

A Sudanese delegation is expected to visit the United States for talks aimed at getting Sudan removed from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism.

Sudan's army ruler, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, in his first interview on state television since taking power, said the delegation could travel as soon as "this week or next week for discussions."

The U.S. government added Sudan to its terrorism list in 1993 over allegations that then-President Omar al-Bashir's government was supporting terrorism. Al-Bashir was ousted earlier this month by the military after three decades in power.

In 2017, the United States lifted its 20-year-old trade embargo imposed on Sudan, but it left Sudan on its state sponsors of terrorism list along with Iran, Syria and North Korea.

Since al-Bashir's removal, U.S. officials have praised the country's new military leader for freeing political prisoners. On Thursday, State Department officials announced it would send an envoy to Khartoum to encourage a transition to democracy.

Burhan took the leadership position after his predecessor, General Awad Ibn Ouf, resigned less than 24 hours after becoming military council chief.

State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said the U.S. will be there to "calibrate our policies based on our assessment of events," but added that Sudan's designation as a state sponsor of terrorism "remains in effect, and Phase II discussions are suspended."

"The will of the Sudanese people is clear: it is time to move toward a transitional government that is inclusive and respectful of human rights and the rule of law," Ortagus said.

But in Khartoum, Sudanese protest leaders on Sunday broke off talks with the military rulers. Protesters have been demanding a change in regime since December.

The military removed al-Bashir from power on April 11. But since then, it has made no move toward transferring power to a civilian council as demanded by the protesters.

A spokesman of the protest movement, Mohamed al-Amin, called for "escalating and continuing the demonstrations until the demands are met."

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on Sunday promised to provide much needed aid to Sudan in the amount of $3 billion. The two nations will deposit $500 million with the Sudanese central bank and send the rest in form of food, medicine and petroleum products.

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