US ends decades-long freeze on Sudanese bank accounts

US ends decades-long freeze on Sudanese bank accounts
Lifting of sanctions on Sudan expected to free up $48 million that had previously been locked up in Sudanese accounts frozen by the United States.
2 min read
20 October, 2017
US sanctions had been in place against Sudan since 1997 [AFP]

The United States has unfrozed bank Sudanese bank accounts as part of its move to lift decades-long sanctions on the Northern African nation, Sudan's Central Bank said on Thursday.

According to Khartoum, the US sanctions on Sudanese accounts and assets in the US meant that $48 million in assets had been frozen since 1997.

A number of global banks reportedly have started with Sudanese banks since the lifting of US sanctions, the central bank's governor, Hazim Abdul Gadir, said.

Abdul Gadir has ordered that banks in Sudan upgrade their systems and processes in order to tackle terror financing and moey laundering.

He also ordered Sudanese banks to improve their banking system to bring it in line with the international banking system and to combat money laundering as well as the financing of terrorism.

Washington announced on October 6 that sanctions would be lifted on Sudan, however kept the nation led by long time President Omar al-Bashir on its blacklist of terror-sponsoring countries.

The move prompted criticism from rights groups, who have pointed to numerous alleged human rights abuses committed by Bashir's government over the decades.

In its annual human rights reports, the US State Department has also continued to assert that Sudan's "authoritarian" government flouts the rule of law, attacks civilians in Darfur and other conflict zones, and lets its security forces commit abuses with impunity.