Sudan: Sudanese media happy with lifting of US economic sanctions

Khartoum, Sudan (PANA) - Sudanese newspapers on Saturday lauded the decision of the US to lift its unilateral economic sanctions imposed on the East African nation in 1997.

“No development has been more important for the Sudan during the past twenty years than this decision of lifting of the American sanctions," wrote Mohamed Abdul Gadir, editor-in-chief of the pro-government independent daily al- Raie Al Aam.

Gadir stressed in his column “Alla Kulin" (Nonetheless) that Sudanese had been waiting for this day for the past 20 years, without the American sanctions budging an inch.

“But I don’t think this decision, widely circulated on social media, will be an end to or a culmination for the dialogue (between Khartoum and Washington) but a start of a chain of  positive developments the US-Sudanese relations are going to witness in the near future,” he said.

Osman Mirgahani, a leading columnist of the pro-opposition al Tayar, wrote: “At last …lifting the sanctions.”

He cautioned, however, that any further development was not in the hands of the Americans but with the Sudanese government.

“Sudan’s crisis with the Americans and the international community in general is a result of our internal policies...What we need in order to better our relations with the Americans and the intentional community is to correct our internal policies, namely, the human rights dossier… the human rights of the Sudanese people not the American people, stop the war, and allow free passage for humanitarian relief to the war ravaged regions of Darfur, South Kordufan and the Blue Nile,” Mirghani wrote.

He stressed that people should not expect sweets and honey pouring instantly on the Sudan as a result of the American decision.

He warned that international monetary institutions, by their nature, were “very  cautious” and they would deal cautiously during the six-month moratorium set by the Americans to see if Khartoum stayed on track or deviated from the current attitude, before a full and permanent revocation of the sanctions.

The US State Department issued a statement on Friday saying the lifting of sanctions on Sudan was the culmination of months of intensive bilateral engagement with Sudan.

The statement said he two sides, the United States and Sudan, committed to focus on achieving progress in five key areas: ceasing hostilities in Darfur, improving humanitarian access, ending negative interference in South Sudan, enhancing cooperation on counterterrorism, and addressing the threat of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). This process began in June, 2016.

The state Department said over the past six months, Sudan had made significant progress in  each of these areas.  

However, it cautioned that although US President Barack Obama was issuing a new Executive Order that provided a path for the permanent revocation of the sanctions in Executive Orders 13067 and 13412 in 180 days, still the Secretary of State had to publish in the Federal Register on or before that date a notice stating that the Government of Sudan had sustained the positive actions that gave rise to the Executive Order.

According the release during the next six months, US persons will be authorised by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to engage in transactions involving persons in Sudan; to import goods and services from Sudan; to export goods, technology, and services to Sudan; and to engage in transactions involving property in which the Government of Sudan has an interest.

“If the conditions in the Executive Order are met and the sanctions are permanently revoked in 180 days, US persons will be able to engage in these transactions without needing OFAC authorisation,” it said
-0- PANA MO/MA 14Jan2017

14 january 2017 09:19:34

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