The US State Department has announced that President Barack Obama will order the extension of the country’s sanctions against Sudan on Thursday.
In a press statement from Washington D.C. on Monday, the Department said that on 3 November 2016, “consistent with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), President Barack Obama will continue, for one year, the national emergency with respect to Sudan declared in Executive Order 13067. This is part of an annual process that began on November 3, 1997, when the President declared a national emergency with respect to Sudan.”
The statement points out that “this is a technical decision and part of a routine, annual process that does not prejudice the ability of the President to provide sanctions relief at any point in the future.
'The USA has been quite clear with Sudan on the steps that need to be taken.'
“The United States government remains committed to continued high level policy engagement with Sudan and has been quite clear with the Government of Sudan on the steps that need to be taken to secure economic sanctions relief.
“We look forward to continued frank and frequent exchanges with our Sudanese counterparts that will hopefully lead us to outcomes both countries seek,” the statement concludes.
“State sponsor of terrorism”
The Sudanese government has gone to great efforts over the past months to convince Washington to lift the sanctions. Sudan has been on the US list of state sponsors of terrorism since 1993, and Washington has imposed economic sanctions on the country since 1997. They include a comprehensive trade embargo on Sudan and blocked the assets of the government of Sudan.
President George Bush renewed the sanctions in April 2006 because of the conflict in Darfur, and ordered the “blocking of property of certain persons connected to the conflict”.
In 2014, President Barack Obama extended the sanctions, saying that “Khartoum continues to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of his country”.
In 2015, Washington came down hard on European banks that evaded their sanctions. In response, European and Saudi Arabian banks announced that they would stop their transactions with Sudan.