Sudan’s Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Abdulrahman Derar, has expressed hope in “progress in the financial relations between the Sudan and the outside world” after the US Treasury Department lifted a holding ban on undisclosed amount of money belonging to the Sudanese Embassy in the South Korean capital of Seoul.
In a press statement via the official Sudan News Agency (SUNA) yesterday, Minister Derar said the money concerned belongs to the Commercial and Economic Centre. It was originally transferred to the Daewoo company via a US account, and has been held back since 2015.
Derar noted that the company has recently reported that the amount reached its account from the American bank without any follow-up from its part.
The minister pointed out that the procedure falls within the framework of the recent financial procedures announced by the US government towards the Sudan.
He expressing the hope of “a full lifting of the US sanctions particularly that the Sudan has fulfilled all the conditions required for the lifting of sanctions”.
The USA imposed the sanctions in November 1997 by Executive Order after Sudan was accused of being a “state sponsor of terrorism”. The order blocked all Sudanese government assets in the US and barred all trade transactions involving certain persons in Sudan.
At the end of 2016, The administration of former President Barak Obama began working on the criteria for partially lifting the sanctions for a period of six months (though Sudan remains branded a sponsor of terrorism), after which it may decide on a permanent lifting.
The five criteria under assessment include the ceasing of offensive military activities and providing more access to humanitarian organisations in Sudan, and it does not include the improvement of the human rights situation; a benchmark which dozens of US Congressmen, human rights watchdogs, and activists find lacking.
A press statement issued by the US State Department on 12 July explains that US President Donald Trump “issued an EO extending the review period established by EO 13761 of January 13, 2017, which set forth criteria for the revocation of certain sanctions on Sudan.
“The President’s EO extends the review period for an additional three months and provides for the revocation of those sanctions if the Government of Sudan sustains the positive actions that gave rise to EO 13761, including maintaining a cessation of hostilities in conflict areas in Sudan; improving humanitarian access throughout Sudan; and maintaining its cooperation with the United States on addressing regional conflicts and the threat of terrorism.”
The statement says that the United States will revoke the sanctions if the Government of Sudan is assessed, by the new date of October 12, 2017, to have sustained progress in these areas at the end of the extended review period.