WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement regarding the Administration’s decision to lift sanctions on Sudan:
“American engagement with the Sudanese government starting last July has shown somewhat satisfactory results. Access to humanitarian aid has improved in parts of Sudan, but NGOs continue to report significant bureaucratic impediments on the part of the national and state governments. The Government of Sudan has stopped its destabilizing activities in South Sudan and has increased its cooperation with the United States to address mutual security concerns. Our work with the Sudanese government cannot be merely transactional, as it has a long and recent history of stoking instability in the region, violating international norms, and violently repressing the rights of its own people. Human rights and religious freedom must be front and center to any subsequent engagement in order for this relationship to become truly transformational. We need to see substantial improvement from Sudan on these matters, and I will be working with my colleagues in Congress to ensure that we have concrete measures, including re-imposition of sanctions, in place to swiftly press the government of Sudan if any regression occurs along the lines of the engagement plan."
The United States and the Government of Sudan have worked over the past year to improve relations focusing on five key areas: enhancing counterterrorism cooperation, addressing the threat of the Lord’s Resistance Army, ceasing hostilities in Darfur and the Two Areas (South Kordofan and Blue Nile), improving humanitarian access, and ending support for the armed opposition in South Sudan. Today’s decision lifts executive branch sanctions on Sudan, but does not affect Sudan’s status on the State Sponsor of Terrorism list.
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