Nkosazana hails lifting of US Sudan sanctions
THE OUTGOING chairwoman of the African Union Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, has welcomed the lifting of economic sanctions by the US on Sudan.
She said the move allowed Sudan to re-engage in international trade and end the suffering of its people.
She said she appreciated US President Barack Obama for this constructive decision and hoped that the incoming administration would consider permanent revocation of the sanctions and further work towards granting debt relief to Sudan to enable it to begin a new chapter of economic reconstruction and prosperity.
She also encouraged the Sudanese government and the armed movements to return to the negotiation table as a matter of urgency with a more conciliatory approach towards resolving their differences.
She urged all parties to co-operate fully with the efforts of the AU High Level Implementation Panel to reach a Cessation of Hostilities Agreement and a permanent ceasefire and participate in an inclusive political process, which would guarantee the Sudanese people long-awaited peace.
The US State Department said the actions to lift sanctions on Sudan were the culmination of months of intensive bilateral engagement with Khartoum.
The US and Sudan have committed to focusing on achieving progress in five key areas: ceasing hostilities in Darfur and the Two Areas (Sudan’s Blue Nile and South Kordofan states), improving humanitarian access, ending negative interference in South Sudan, enhancing co-operation on counter-terrorism, and addressing the threat of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).
“Over a six-month period (since June 2016), Sudan made significant progress in each of these areas,” said the State Department.
“Our frequent and robust engagement over this period gave us a forum to routinely address these issues, build new areas of co-operation, and use the incentive of sanctions relief as leverage to encourage Sudan to take positive steps like ceasing hostilities and committing to providing access for humanitarian relief to reach people in need of assistance. But we recognise a lot more work needs to be done.”
During the next six months, Americans will be authorised by the US Treasury to trade with Sudan and to engage in transactions involving property in which the government of Sudan has an interest.
If the conditions in the Executive Order issued by the US are met and the sanctions are permanently revoked in 180 days, future trade would not require US Treasury approval.
Moving forward, the US will have additional tools to continue constructive engagement and apply pressure as necessary, in support of further progress in the five key areas, as well as on improving human rights, opening political space, and addressing the root causes of conflict in Sudan. ANA
A Sudanese army tank in Daldako, South Kordofan, which is one of the areas where Khartoum has promised to seek to cease hostilities.