President Barak Obama has extended sanctions against Sudan for another year, saying the actions and policies of Khartoum that led to the sanctions continue to pose a threat to US national security and foreign policy.
Obama’s order maintains several sets of US sanctions imposed in November 1997 which restrict US trade and investment with Sudan and block government’s assets of the Sudanese government. It also includes additional sanctions in relations with the conflict in Darfur region introduced by two Executive Orders in 2006.
In a letter to the US Congress speakers Obama pointed to the executive orders of November 3 1997, April 26, and October 13, 2006 saying the crisis constituted by the actions and policies of the Government of Sudan that triggered these decisions 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,” he further emphasized.
On 21 September 2016, the Department of State welcomed Sudanese government efforts to combat terrorism and its increased cooperation with Washington.
“While countering terrorism is an important objective for the United States, we continue to engage the Government of Sudan on protecting human rights, resolving internal conflicts, addressing humanitarian needs, improving regional stability, and advancing political freedoms, accountability and reconciliation,” further said the statement.
However, the Department of State in a separate statement minimized the renewal of sanctions saying it 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’.
It further reiterated Washington’s commitment to continued high level policy engagement with Sudan saying that the American administration ‘has been quite clear with the Government of Sudan on the steps that need to be taken to secure economic sanctions relief’.
Sudanese officials had recently expressed hopes that before the end of his second term President Obama would lift the sanctions on the African country saying Washington is convinced of its inefficiency and that it harms ordinary Sudanese.