Trump extends Sudan sanctions by three months

Trump extends Sudan sanctions by three months
The US President responded to pressure from Congress and NGOs to extend the decision making process, due in part to a lack of state department employees.
2 min read
12 July, 2017
The President of Sudan is wanted by the International Criminal Court on genocide charges [Anadolu]

The President of the United States postponed a decision on lifting sanctions against Sudan by three months on Tuesday.

Donald Trump signed an executive order extending the sanctions period, while also recognising "significant, substantial progress," a statement from the State Department said.

"The Administration is committed to intensifying engagement with the Government of Sudan... including our ongoing dialogue on improving Sudan's human rights and religious freedom practices," spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement.

Sudan's Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour said on Monday that not lifting sanctions would be "illogical and unaccepted", adding that Sudan had met all of the requirements needed to lift the sanctions.

The New Arab has contacted the Sudanese embassy for comment.

Read more: US 'should delay decision on Sudanese sanctions'

Supporters of the sanctions welcomed the delay, adding that the Sudanese regime was not, in fact, keeping to the requirements.

"The Trump administration should immediately design and enact a new track of engagement with Khartoum that is focused on addressing the core issues that keep Sudan in perpetual crisis and kleptocracy," said John Prendergast, director of the Enough Project, a US non-profit organisation devoted to encouraging peace in Africa.

A bipartisan letter to the President from 53 members of Congress, on June 30 recommended keeping and extended the sanctions due, in part, to the "state-sponsored persecution of Christians".

"We write to request that you delay lifting these sanctions for one year or until your Administration has been able to fully staff the Department of State and National Security Council," the letter read.