The Obama administration has made progress in their attempt to lift a 20-year trade embargo against Sudan in a move that has angered human rights organizations. The lifting of the sanctions, which date back to the Clinton administration, will however be delayed by 180 days to encourage Sudan to take further actions on improving human rights, resolving political divisions and military conflicts.
That leaves the final decision up to President-elect Donald Trump to implement the sanctions relief, a senior Obama administration official said.
“Sudan has long expressed a desire to get out from under sanctions, as well as other restrictions that the United States has imposed on Sudan going back 20 years,” the official said.
“Over the past two years we have looked for a way to engage with Sudan in a way we could overcome some of the lack of trust of the past,” the official added.
The sanctions relief is expected to impact businesses that deal with agriculture, import-export services, transportation, technology and medical equipment, and oil, the official said.
The United States first imposed sanctions on Sudan in 1997, including a trade embargo and blocking the government’s assets, for human rights violations and terrorism concerns. The United States layered on more sanctions in 2006 for what it said was complicity in the violence in Sudan’s Darfur region.
In a letter to Congress, US President Barack Obama said, “actions against the government of Sudan have been altered by Sudan’s positive actions over the past six months.”