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Sudan uprising: Senators ask US Secretary of State for clarity on Sudan policy

April 7 - 2019 WASHINGTON
US Capitol in Washington DC (File photo)
US Capitol in Washington DC (File photo)

Seven US Senators have appealed to the US State Department to clarify its position on the removal of Sudan from the list of state sponsors of terrorism following the way the Sudanese government has responded to the current campaign of peaceful protests which began in December 2018.

The US lifted 20-year-old economic sanctions on Sudan in October 2017 after the two countries agreed in November 2018 to begin a second process aiming at Sudan’s removal from the US list of states sponsoring terrorism and normalise bilateral relations.

Besides the counterterrorism cooperation and humanitarian access, the Phase II Agreement stresses that Sudan should ensure freedoms and human rights as provided in the international law and to amend its repressive and coercive laws.

In an open letter to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday, senators Robert Menendez, Ted Cruz, Chris Van Hollen, Christopher Coons, Marco Rubio, Jeffery Merkley, and Cory Booker pointed to the ongoing repression of peaceful protests, and said that continuing the engagement under Phase II is likely to be interpreted by the Sudanese government to mean that the excessive use of violence against protesters and brutal repression will be ignored if they continue engagement on terrorism issues.

“Counterterrorism is a necessary precondition, but is not sufficient to justify engagement with the Sudanese regime,” said the letter.

“What is the Administration’s position on continuing with Phase II engagement in light of the imposition of the State of Emergency and installation of a military government?”

Read the complete letter here (PDF)

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