August 27, 2019
WASHINGTON – The United States will encourage regional and international support to Sudan but at the same time will wait to see the commitment of the transitional government to democratic reforms before to decide its removal from the terror list.
On Saturday, Sudan’s new Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok who is expected to announce his government within few days said he is seeking to persuade Washington to remove his country from the list of state sponsors of terrorism to enable him to get the needed support from the international financial institutions.
Hamdok disclosed he was in touch with U.S. officials to discuss ways to take Sudan off the terror list pointing that his government needs $8 billion in foreign aid and $2 billion of foreign reserves deposits before to start reforms.
In response, a State Department official speaking in a background interview to some international and U.S. media confessed that Sudan’s designation as a terror state will hamper the efforts of the first government formed by the democratic forces after the Sudanese revolution that they applauded.
The designation as a terror state “is an obstacle right now,” said the official who declined to be named, before to add: “It will take a little bit of time to work through but we are committed to doing that”.
“We want to have a positive dialogue with this new civilian government,” he stressed.
The official further underscored that Sudan’s removal from the blacklist alone, will not be enough pointing to the resolutions the U.S. Congress passed in the past on Darfur stressing they need to be reviewed and amended because they impose restrictions on the U.S. administration.
The State Department official was referring to the ’Darfur Peace and Accountability Act of 2006 and the Sudan Accountability and Divestment Act of 2007.
However, he pledged to resume dialogue on the normalisation of bilateral relations and the removal from the terror list as soon as possible.
Washington suspended the dialogue on the designation of Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism after the collapse of the al-Bashir’s regime last April.
During the discussions with the former regime, Washington insisted on the human rights and freedoms particularly religious freedom. Also, it was very strict on the need to abide by UN sanctions on North Korea.
Obama’s and Trump’s administrations have acknowledged Sudan’s cooperation on counterterrorism. Washington also admitted the commitment of the Sudanese government to the support South Sudan peace process, cessation of hostilities and humanitarian access.
WE ENCOURAGE OTHERS
However, the U.S. diplomat was keen to say they are encouraging the donors from the international community and the region to support the transitional government in Sudan as they do not face the same restrictions that Washington has.
“We encourage all parties to help Sudan but in a collective manner,” he stressed.
Moreover, he said that the Gulf states promised to consider additional funding under a broader programme to support Sudan.
After Saudi Arabia and UAE, Washington recently invited Qatar to join the club of Sudan’s Friends formed last May to consider ways to support the restoration of a democratic regime and ways to back the poor and isolated nation.
An international meeting will be held on Sudan on the sidelines of 73rd UN General Assembly meetings next September in New York.
Source: Sudan Tribune | Published: August 26, 2019