After Harsh Decades, US Stops Sanctions on Sudan

الثورة السودانية

The results of ousting al-Bashir and eradicating his party and the remnants of his regime started to occur, starting from renormalization with Khartoum internationally, and ending with lifting the U.S. sanctions that exhausted the country over the past decades, which sanctions were a result of the practices of al-Bashir and the Salvation Government during those years.

The announcement of the Central Bank of Sudan on Wednesday evening confirmed that all the economic sanctions imposed on Sudan by the U.S were lifted.

“The Central Bank has received a letter from U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) confirming that the embargo imposed on Sudan has ended according to the executive orders of 13067 and 13412 that were issued in October 2017,” the Sudanese news agency cited the Governor of the central bank Badreddine Abdulrahim as saying.

 “Under the two orders, sanctions were lifted on 157 Sudanese companies, and only a few Sudanese individuals and entities remain under US sanctions for their links to the conflict in Darfur,” Abdulrahim added. “But this will not affect banking transactions,” he said.

On August 18th 1993, U.S. State Department placed Sudan on the list of countries sponsoring terrorism, accusing it of sheltering terrorists, and this came after al-Bashir has sheltered former al-Qaeda leader Osama Ben Laden, and provided safe havens for similar figures.

The President of the Sudanese Sovereignty Council, Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, is expected to visit the U.S. later this year, at the invitation of U.S. Secretary of State that he received a few weeks ago.

History of U.S. sanctions on Sudan

Since 1997 Sudan has been under sanctions imposed by successive administrations in the White House, and this situation continued until former U.S. President Barak Obama issued an executive order shortly before the end of his last presidential term, under which order part of the sanctions was lifted on Sudan for six months, and those sanctions could be lifted permanently should Sudan aided its commitments known as five-tracks plan, which includes a many central issues of common concern, notably cooperation in combating terrorism, working for regional security, bringing peace to Sudan and southern Sudan, and respecting human rights.

Before the deadline a new president came to the White House, Donald Trump, who delayed the decision on Sudan’s sanctions for three month to verify Khartoum’s commitment to its pledges.

The sanctions imposed on Sudan are divided into two types; one issued by executive presidential decisions, and the other issued according to legislations enacted by the Congress.

U.S. State Department placed Sudan on the list of countries sponsoring terrorism in August 18th 1993, accusing it sheltering those classified by U.S. as terrorists, such as Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and Hamas, this in addition to sheltering former al-Qaeda leader Osama Ben Laden, and providing safe havens for similar figures.

Many U.S. administrations have contacted Khartoum government, however, there was no progress in the relations between the two countries, which led Washington embassy in Khartoum to say that that the disagreement between the two countries is based on the fact that Sudan supports terrorism, violates human rights, waging a religious war against South Sudan, and preventing access of humanitarian aid.

On November 13, 1997, former U.S. President Bill Clinton issued an executive order, under which comprehensive economic, trade and financial sanctions against Sudan were put into force, under the pretext supporting international terrorism.

To make matters worse, on August 20, 1998, U.S. aircraft hit Al Shifa Pharmaceutical Factory, claiming that the factory belongs to Bin Laden and produces chemical weapons, and this followed U.S. accusations for Osama Bin Laden, who was then sheltered Khartoum, of being involved in the explosions of the U.S. embassies in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi.

In April 2006, President George W. Bush issued the order 13400 under which he extended the sanctions to include banning individuals who have proven to be involved in the Darfur conflict and seizing their assets. In September of the same year the executive order 13412under which U.S. continued preserving the money of Sudan Government, and ban all the transactions related to the oil and petrochemical industry, that any American citizen might make with Khartoum.

In 2002, Congress passed the Sudan Peace Act, which states that lifting the U.S. sanctions is subject to the negotiations progress with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement SPLM. This act was followed by the Comprehensive Peace in Sudan Act that was issued in 2004. On October 13 2006 the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act was issued, stating that the Sudanese government’s policies are threatening the security, peace, and politics of U.S.

The Accountability and Expropriation Act was issued in 2007, in which the Congress imposed sanctions against people considered responsible for genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.

Following the attacks of September 11, 2011, the two countries’ relations improved, and Khartoum concluded an agreement with Washington for cooperation in combatting terrorism, nevertheless, that agreement did not affect the sanctions imposed on Sudan, although Washington admitted that the Sudanese regime has solved its disputes with South Sudan. But according to Washington, normalization with Sudan depends on ending the conflict in Sudan’s Darfur province.

To implement the two executive orders, the Treasury and the Office of Foreign Assets Control OFAC amended Sudan’s sanctions regulations, making the two executive orders in effect as soon as they are published in the federal registry, allowing financial transactions that were prohibited according to the sanctions, which allow American individuals to conduct financial transactions with individuals and Sudanese entities, and lift the ban on frozen Sudanese assets.

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