US to strike Sudan off terrorism blacklist
KHARTOUM: The United States has agreed to lift its sanctions on Sudan and remove the country from its list of nations sponsoring terrorism, independent Al Rai Al Aam daily reported Saturday.
Reporting from New York, the newspaper quoted Foreign Minister Mustafa Ismail as saying “lifting the sanctions and taking the Sudan’s name from the list of terrorism have been agreed upon and what remains now is the timing of making those steps.” The agreement was reached after meetings Ismail held with several US officials, including Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Walter Kansteiner, the newspaper reported. On Friday, the United States lauded a security agreement reached this week between the Sudanese government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLA/M), calling it an “historic” accord that should boost efforts for permanent settlement of the conflict. The rebels led by John Garang, and Khartoum, signed the agreement on Thursday in Kenya. It was seen as a key step towards a full peace agreement that would put an end to the longest and one of the bloodiest civil wars in Africa. Sudan’s civil war erupted in 1983 when the SPLA/M took up arms to end domination of the mainly Christian and animist south by the Muslim north. It has since killed more than 1.5 million people and displaced four million others.
The United States has been pressing both sides to negotiate in good faith and has threatened to tighten sanctions against Khatoum and step up assistance to the rebels should it determine the government is not cooperating in the peace process. —AFP