Sudan Ruling Party Warns Extended US Sanctions May Encourage Unrest
The Sudanese ruling party said Thursday it would hold the United States responsible for any insecurity in Sudan after Washington extended decades-old sanctions against Khartoum. “The people who took this decision (of extending sanctions) will bear the responsibility of any political or security impact resulting from this decision,” the deputy chief of the National Congress Party Ibrahim Mahmoud (NCP) said. “This decision will encourage the rebels and armed groups to start their activities and disturb security in Sudan and across the region.” Sudanese President Al Bashir on Wednesday suspended talks with Washington aimed at ending the sanctions, a day after US President Donald Trump postponed a decision on whether to lift the trade embargo permanently until October 12. His predecessor Barack Obama had eased the sanctions in January, but kept Sudan on review for six months, a period that ended on Wednesday. Obama had made the permanent lifting of the sanctions dependent on Khartoum’s progress in five areas of concern at the end of the review period. The areas of concern — or “five tracks” — include giving more access to humanitarian workers in war zones, counterterrorism cooperation with the United States, an end to hostilities against armed groups in Sudan and halting support for insurgents in neighbouring South Sudan. Washington imposed a complex set of economic sanctions on Sudan in 1997.