Citing the fact that Sudan had started addressing concerns about terrorism and human rights abuses against civilians in the country’s Darfur region, the U.S. permanently lifted sanctions against the northern Africa country in October 2017. Sudan was the only country removed from President Trump’s list of countries whose citizens are subject to travel restrictions.
This is important to know in the world of export control because, under executive order 13412, the US Government levied sanctions against Sudan in October 2006, thereby prohibiting certain economic transactions.
The decision to lift certain sanctions left others in place, including individuals with arrest warrants related to crimes committed during the Darfur conflict, as well as leaving the country as a state sponsor of terrorism. President Obama’s administration had noted the same progress, and lifted some restrictions before he left office. Part of this recent move was a deal with Sudan to halt purchases of arms from North Korea.
The State Department says the country has made counter terrorism strides in restricting transit of terrorists through the country. Sudan says it’s worked closely with the U.S. intelligence community since the days when Osama bin Laden lived there in the early 1990s, especially since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
Sudan has also made strides on the humanitarian front. Specifically, it has put in place unilateral cease-fires in certain areas, stopped aerial bombings that killed civilians and created safe routes to make humanitarian aid more possible.
Washington believes that two decades of sanctions have made little progress. This move give the U.S. leverage to see more transformational change and political transition.