White House: US National Emergency on Sudan continues

A US presidential notice announced the continuation of the national emergency with respect to Sudan this week, in spite of a recent visit of a Sudanese delegation to Washington.

United States President Donald Trump (file photo)

A US presidential notice announced the continuation of the national emergency with respect to Sudan this week, in spite of a recent visit of a Sudanese delegation to Washington.

In the White House notice President Donald Trump explains why despite recent positive developments, the crisis constituted by the actions and policies of the Government of Sudan that led to the declaration of a national emergency in Executive Order 13067 in 1997, an expansion of that order in 2006, has not been resolved.

“These actions and policies continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States. I have, therefore, determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13067, as expanded by Executive Order 13400, with respect to Sudan.”

In November last year, President Trump also decided to continue the United States national emergency with respect to Sudan.

Sanctions lifting

In October 2017, certain economic sanctions of the executive order 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.

Sudan-US meetings

In September, following a meeting with US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan at the UN General Assembly, Sudan’s Foreign Minister El Dirdeiri Mohamed Ahmed announced that a full understanding has been reached about the launch of the second phase of the dialogue between the two countries.

The next month, a Sudanese delegation went to the annual meetings of the United Nations General Assembly, and would meet US officials to resume discussions on the removal from the list.

Sudan's appointment of General Mohamed Atta El Mawla, the former chief of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) to head its embassy in Washington earlier this month is “a shocking affront to Americans who care about human dignity and religious freedom,” according to an op-ed by John Prendergast. Prendergast is the founding director of the Enough Project and co-founder of The Sentry.

“Under Gen. Atta, NISS has been deployed in the regime’s arrest and persecution of Christian priests, churchgoers, and other religious and ethnic minorities, operating jails and secret detention facilities where systematic torture and abuse of detainees are routine. […] Atta, as the head of NISS, has been working at the very center of activities that give the lie to its repeated promises of cooperation with the US in the war on terror.”

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. In September, however, the US State Department decided to keep Sudan on its blacklist of states that sponsor terrorism, yet affirmed its positive rating of Sudan’s track record in combating terrorism.

Read the full notice here.