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General: ‘Sudan armed movements listed as source of terrorism at US conference’

October 21 - 2018 KHARTOUM
Combatants of the Darfuri rebel Justice and Equality Movement (File photo: en.africatime.com)
Combatants of the Darfuri rebel Justice and Equality Movement (File photo: en.africatime.com)

The Chairman of Sudan’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, Maj Gen Kamal Abdelmarouf, said that he has succeeded in listing the armed movements as ‘a source of terrorism and a threat to regional peace and security in Sudan’. Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) head Dr Jibril Ibrahim has dismissed Abdelmarouf’s claims as ‘fabricated’.

Speaking to the press at Khartoum airport on his return from the conference on combating violent extremism held in the USA, Gen Abdelmarouf said that the conference was an opportunity to highlight the local efforts of the government and its regional roles to combat terrorism and violent extremism.

Gen Abdelmarouf said that he has succeeded in having the armed movements included in the recommendations of the conference to be listed as ‘a source of terrorism’.

Justice and Equality Movement

JEM Dr Jibril Ibrahim, JEM), said that the parties involved in preparing the lists of terrorism are the UN Security Council and the regional organisations. “It is they who have turned Sudan's file to the ICC to be included in the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. Therefore, Al Bashir’s regime is morally and politically incapable of talking or listing others on terrorist lists.”

Ibrahim added that “the statement of the Chief of Staff is an attempt to record a success for his trip to America even if it was fabricated”.

Counter-terrorism

The US State Department has decided to keep Sudan on its blacklist of states that sponsor terrorism, yet affirms its positive rating of Sudan’s track record in combating terrorism.

The 2017 Country Reports on Terrorism released by the US State Department note the recent easing in Sudan-US relations which have resulted in the lifting of economic sanctions that were in place since 1997.

Blacklisted

Sudan has been on the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism by the United States for more than two decades. In November 1997, Washington blocked Sudanese government property and prohibited transactions with Sudan, as it considered Khartoum an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the U.S.”.

About two decades later, in October 2017, certain economic sanctions were permanently revoked. The US Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control announced the amendment of the Sudanese Sanctions Regulations in the Federal Register, because of “Sudan’s positive actions [..].

“These actions included a marked reduction in offensive military activity [..] and steps toward the improvement of humanitarian access throughout Sudan, as well as cooperation with the United States on addressing regional conflicts,” the Federal Register cited.

The amendment included a general license authorising certain transactions related to exports of agricultural commodities, medicines, and medical devices to Sudan in the Terrorism List Government Sanctions Regulations.

Sudanese officials have insisted on the need of the country to be removed entirely from the terrorism sponsors list, so it can benefit from the debt relief and international development aid.

Last week the Sudanese foreign ministry announced that its minister will lead a Sudanese delegation to the annual meetings of the United Nations General Assembly, and would meet US officials to resume discussions on the removal from the list.


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