News / Africa

US: Sudan Could be Removed from Terror List This Year

U.S. diplomats say they are pleased with the course of Sudan's ongoing referendum on independence for the south.  And, if the Sudanese government embraces the results as it has pledged to and meets other criteria, diplomats say Sudan could be removed from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism by the middle of this year.

The country is one of four nations that the United States lists as a state sponsor of terrorism since 1993 alongside Iran, Cuba and Syria.  

The designation imposes restrictions on U.S. foreign assistance, among other sanctions.  

But Sudan might find itself off that list soon.

Ambassador Princeton Lyman, who is part of the Sudan Negotiation Support Unit,  discussed the process with reporters at the State Department Tuesday. "I think the first step would be on completion of the referendum and the acceptance of the results, that the United States will begin the process of examining removal from the state sponsors of terrorism.  That involves certain reviews and certain consultations with Congress, but that would begin after acceptance of the referendum results," he said.

Lyman said Sudan could be formally removed from that list - and be closer to normalized ties - around July of this year, as other elements of the 2005 comprehensive peace agreement (CPA) are achieved.  

The ongoing poll in southern Sudan is one of the requirements of the CPA, which ended 21 years of civil war in the nation.  Lyman said other CPA requirements, such as a referendum to determine if Abeyi should be part of the north or the south, must be satisfied.  

Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Johnnie Carson, who briefed reporters alongside Lyman, cautioned that nothing is certain.  "Even though we have clearly indicated a willingness to remove Sudan from the state sponsors of terrorism list if the CPA is fully implemented, Sudan must also comply with the criteria under the law for the removal of this state-sponsor designation," he said.

He said this means Sudan's government cannot aid, abet or support international terrorist groups.

As for the current referendum, Lyman praised the Sudanese people for their willingness to contemplate splitting their nation in two, and both he and Carson said they were pleased with the government's handling of the poll thus far.  

Still, Lyman said, many tough issues have yet to be worked through. "This is one big step, but now the two parties, based on the results of the referendum, have to work out all those post-referendum issues which, frankly, were not addressed very far in the period before. The parties simply were either not ready or not in a position to address them before the referendum.  So we have big issues out there to be resolved, and these are going to be tough negotiations," he said.

Lyman said these issues include management of the oil sector and finalization of some disputed borders, as well as security, citizenship, currency and international debt issues.  He said committees that operate under the auspices of the African Union have made a lot of progress on legal and security issues, while the economic group lags behind.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid