World Media

United States of America confirms end of sanctions against Sudan

Women and children wait to be registered prior to a food distribution carried out by the United Nations World Food Programme in Thonyor Leer state South Sudan

In addition, separate sanctions for the Darfur crisis will remain in place - as the USA still seeks to hold those responsible for crimes in Darfur to account and find justice for the victims, one senior administration official said.

Human rights groups have raised concerns about Washington's softening stance towards Khartoum.

Official news agency SUNA quoted a foreign ministry statement welcoming the decision: "The leaders of Sudan, the government of Sudan and the people of Sudan welcome the positive decision taken by American President Donald Trump of removing the economic sanctions completely".

"Ties between Sudan and USA date back to before Sudan's independence and we are looking forward to fully normalizing relations and we feel that the Americans are now having the same desire", the top diplomat said.

Omar al-Bashir, who took power in a military coup in 1989, faces genocide charges at the global criminal court relating to extensive human rights abuses perpetrated by Sudanese forces against civilians in Darfur, the western region gripped by bloodshed since 2003, when rebels took up arms against the government, accusing it of discrimination and neglect.

However, the partial lifting of sanctions did not remove Sudan from the list of states sponsoring terrorism.

The Obama administration justified its initial move toward lifting the sanctions by citing improved counterterrorism efforts and other progress in Sudan.

The State Department noted the Sudanese government had stopped its attacks on areas including Darfur and South Kordofan and was helping the U.S. deal with the threat of the Lord's Resistance Army, a relentless cult that has been waging war in northern Uganda for decades.

The Trump administration also secured a commitment from Sudan that it would "not pursue an arms deals" with North Korea, an official said.

Sudan also has recently distanced itself diplomatically from Iran, another state with strained relations with the US.

Bob Goodlatte noted Sudan's "historical support of global terrorism" and argued the US must first secure commitments that American victims and their families will be compensated.

His remarks, the first since the United States lifted a 20-year-old trade embargo against Sudan on Friday, came hours after the top usa envoy to Khartoum said conditions have to be "right" for talks on removing Khartoum from the list. Al-Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court to face genocide charges related to the Darfur conflict.

However, Sudan will stay on the US list of state sponsors of terrorism - alongside Iran and Syria - which carries a ban on weapons sales and restrictions on USA aid, US officials said. The government has announced unilateral cease-fires in areas where the Sudanese army has been fighting rebels, and created more access for humanitarian aid to get to displaced civilians.