Why is the United States lifting sanctions on Sudan now? Today’s actions to lift sanctions on Sudan and were the culmination of months of intensive bilateral engagement with Sudan. The United States and Sudan committed to focus on achieving progress in five key areas: ceasing hostilities in Darfur and the Two Areas, 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.
What have we achieved? Over a six month period, Sudan made significant progress in each of these areas. Our frequent and robust engagement over this period gave us a forum to routinely address these issues, build new areas of cooperation, and use the incentive of sanctions relief as leverage to encourage Sudan to take positive steps like ceasing hostilities and committing to providing access for humanitarian relief to reach people in need of assistance. But we recognize a lot more work needs to be done.
How are sanctions being lifted? The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has announced an amendment to the Sudanese Sanctions Regulations (SSR) that will authorize all transactions prohibited by the SSR, as well as Executive Orders 13067 and 13412. In addition, the President is issuing a new Executive Order that provides a path for the permanent revocation of the sanctions in Executive Orders 13067 and 13412 in 180 days, provided that the Secretary of State publishes in the Federal Register on or before that date a notice stating that the Government of Sudan has sustained the positive actions that gave rise to the Executive Order and provides to the President a report on the Government of Sudan’s progress.
What does that mean? During the next six months, U.S. persons will be authorized by 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, U.S. persons will be able to engage in these transactions without needing OFAC authorization.
What next? This plan was carefully crafted to foster continued progress. As set forth above, the President’s new Executive Order will provide for permanent revocation of the sanctions in Executive Orders 13067 and 13412 after a period of 180 days, provided the requisite conditions are met as described above. Moving forward, the United States will have additional tools to continue constructive engagement and apply pressure as necessary, in support of further progress in the five key areas, as well as progress on improving human rights, opening political space, and addressing the root causes of conflict in Darfur and the Two Areas.
Source: U.S. State Department.