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US lifts restrictions on financial dealings with Sudan

US secretary of state Michael Pompeo [right] gestures with Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok [left] as talk to lift Sudan from list of state sponsor of terrorism continues (Photo via Sudan Tribune)
US secretary of state Michael Pompeo [right] gestures with Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok [left] as talk to lift Sudan from list of state sponsor of terrorism continues (Photo via Sudan Tribune)
August 12, 2020 (Nyamilepedia) – The United States Treasury Department announced on Tuesday the lifting of restrictions on Americans’ financial dealings with Sudan.

“US persons are no longer prohibited from engaging in transactions with respect to Sudan or the Government of Sudan that were previously prohibited by the Sudanese Sanctions Regulations,” a treasury statement read.

However, it kept Sudan on its list of State Sponsors of Terrorism (SST), with maintained restrictions on export and re-export and sanctions on individuals and entities in connection with the conflict in Darfur.

In terms of export controls, the statement noted that US and non-US persons need to obtain any licenses required by the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) to export or re-export to Sudan certain items that are on the Commerce Control List (CCL), such as commodities, software, and technology.

It further stressed that an Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) license is required for certain exports or re-exports to Sudan or any other entity of agricultural commodities, medicine, or medical devices.

Meanwhile, a general license in the Terrorism List Governments Sanctions Regulations (TLGSR) authorizes US persons to engage in all financial transactions with respect to stipends and scholarships covering tuition and related educational, living, and travel expenses provided by Sudan’s government to its nationals who are enrolled as students in an accredited educational institution in the United States.

In this context, some observers pointed out that this step will help Sudan overcome the economic and financial difficulties it has been facing due to the US restrictions imposed on transactions.

It would also pave the way for Sudan to be removed from the US SST list, they added.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has repeatedly indicated that the State Department hopes to remove Sudan’s designation, which severely impedes investment to Sudan.

He said in July that the ousting president Omar al-Bashir following mass protests and the nearly year-old government of a civilian prime minister, Abdalla Hamdok, marked “an opportunity that doesn’t come along often.”

“There’s a chance not only for a democracy to begin to be built out, but perhaps regional opportunities that could flow from that as well,” he stressed.

In mid-May, the US State Department’s list on “Countries Certified as Not Cooperating Fully With US Counterterrorism Efforts” didn’t include Sudan, which was considered a major development analyst saw as a significant step in improving bilateral relations.

Sudan had been severely affected once listed in the SST, but its relations with the US improved following talks held between Hamdok and US officials in 2019.

Back then, Hamdok obtained promises from state, treasury, and defense officials, as well as US Congress senior figures to delist Sudan.

Hamdok also announced in December that his government is willing to reach a settlement with families of the victims of the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and of the USS Cole in 2000.

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