In July, the US delayed its decision on whether to lift its sanctions on Sudan for 3 months (see previous blog). President Trump is now expected lift the sanctions before a deadline of 12 October next week, following reports of a series of successful bilateral meetings between the two countries.
The sanctions were eased under the previous administration in recognition of Sudan’s improved cooperation with the US, including on counter-terrorism, improvements to humanitarian access, and the reduction in its military activity in conflict areas such as Darfur, but their full revocation was linked to Sudan’s continued progress on these issues (see previous blog). Since that time, Sudan is also reported to have agreed to cut its ties with North Korea.
President Trump is said to have delayed his decision for fear of appearing soft on a country widely accused of numerous human rights violations, and due to a lack of crucial Africa-related appointments in several US government departments. In a possible precursor to the sanctions being lifted, last week President Trump removed Sudan from the list of countries subject to a general ban on travel to the US (see previous blog).