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Visiting US Deputy Secretary of State calls for cessation of hostilities in Sudan

November 19 - 2017 OMDURMAN
Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan meets Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour in Khartoum on 16 November (RD)
Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan meets Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour in Khartoum on 16 November (RD)

US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan has called on the Sudan government for a comprehensive and definitive cessation of hostilities in South Kordofan, Blue Nile, and Darfur.

In a lecture held at the University of the Holy Quran in Omdurman on Friday, Sullivan, who is currently visiting Sudan for talks on bilateral relations, called on the SPLM North to accept the US proposal to deliver relief in the two regions.

He also called for an end to harassment of religious communities in Sudan: “The government of Sudan, including the federal states, should… immediately suspend demolition of places of worships, including mosques and churches,” he said.

He called on the government to stop the offensive in conflict zones in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile so as to achieve peace and stability in the country.

‘Continued dialogue’

Sullivan called for continued dialogue between the government and armed movements within a comprehensive political process, because there is no other way to achieve peace and stability that will bring the country back to the right path.

The New York Times reported that the United States is ready to consider removing the name of Sudan from the terrorism list if it continues its progress in the fight against terrorism, human rights and other major issues.

Sullivan told a news conference in Khartoum that he raised those issues with Sudanese officials during his two-day visit to Khartoum.

State sponsors of terrorism

Sullivan said the USA would continue to work with Sudan to remove it permanently from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, based on the record of the Khartoum government in this regard.

However, Sullivan said Washington would continue to press Sudan on human rights issues.

He added “There is a need to make meaningful progress in these matters, including political and religious freedom that we, the Americans, see as important”.

Sullivan is the highest-ranking Trump administration official to visit Khartoum since the United States lifted a decades-old trade embargo on October 12.

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