United States formally removes Sudan from blacklist

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Khartoum | The United States formally removed Sudan from its list of countries supporting terrorism on Monday, less than two months after the Arab country agreed to normalize relations with Israel.

The Sudanese authorities, in place since 2019 after the revolt that ousted Islamist President Omar al-Bashir from power, welcomed this decision which should end nearly three decades of isolation of their country and raises the hope of an exit from the serious economic crisis in which it is plunged.

On October 23, US President Donald Trump announced in quick succession his intention to remove Sudan from the list of states supporting terrorism and Sudan’s agreement to normalize relations with Israel.

“With the 45-day notification period to the US Congress having expired, the Secretary of State signed a notification revoking Sudan’s designation as a Terrorist Supporting State. The measure is effective as of December 14, the date on which it will be entered in the Official Journal, ”the United States Embassy in Khartoum said on its Facebook page.

Confirming the American measure, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke of a “fundamental change” in bilateral relations and “greater collaboration and greater support for the historic transition in Sudan”.

The United States had imposed these sanctions in 1993 after accusing Omar al-Bashir of having relations with “terrorist organizations” in particular the Al-Qaeda network, whose leader Osama bin Laden, had stayed in this country for years. 1990.

Long awaited by Khartoum, the withdrawal from the blacklist should offer a breath of fresh air to the economy of this country decimated by American sanctions, mismanagement and armed conflicts under the 30 years in power of Mr. Bashir, today ‘hui in prison.

Inflation exceeds 200% and the country suffers from a chronic shortage of hard currency. Power cuts last at least six hours a day. Not to mention the health crisis linked to Covid-19 disease.


“Congratulations to the Sudanese people!” Tweeted the Chairman of the Sovereignty Council, the highest executive body in Sudan, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane. “This is a task that was accomplished by the Sudanese in the spirit of the revolution.”

“We are back in the international community (…). This will help the transitional government to promote investment and the transfer of money and young people to find work, ”Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok wrote on his Facebook page.

Blacklisting prevented foreign countries from trading and investing in Sudan.

In October, the Sudanese authorities had denied any “blackmail” by agreeing, under American pressure, to establish links with Israel. Sudan was the third Arab country in less than three months to announce a normalization agreement with Israel, after the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

Moreover, it was only after the Sudanese agreement to this normalization that Mr. Trump actually notified the US Congress of Sudan’s removal from the blacklist.

Legal immunity

Khartoum, however, is still waiting to obtain legal immunity in cases linked to past attacks, which requires a law at the heart of negotiations in Congress. However, the negotiations between the Trump administration and Congress are stuck.

This decision is part of an agreement which provides for the payment by Sudan of 335 million dollars in compensation to the families of the victims of the attacks perpetrated in 1998 by Al-Qaeda against the United States embassies in Kenya and Tanzania (more than 200 dead), on the grounds that the Sudanese authorities at the time had previously hosted Osama bin Laden.

Sudan has recently expressed its impatience, lamenting that certain “political and economic commitments” have “not been honored” by Washington.

He warned that this blockage could “delay the application of the agreement” of normalization with Israel.

The United States reconnected with Khartoum under former Democratic President Barack Obama, when Omar al-Bashir began to cooperate in the fight against terrorism and to contribute to peace in South Sudan.

The popular revolt that swept through Mr. Bashir in April 2019 only accelerated the movement.

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