WASHINGTON – The United States will not remove Sudan from the state sponsor of terrorism list until the country’s leadership and policies change and the military no longer holds power, a U.S. official said on Tuesday.
“We will be willing to look at removing Sudan from the list of state sponsors of terrorism if there is significant change in the country’s leadership and policies,” the State Department official told Reuters.
The Trump administration suspended talks on normalizing relations with Sudan after the military deposed veteran autocrat Omar al-Bashir last week saying it would oversee a two-year transition, followed by elections.
The move was rejected by protesters, who for weeks maintained pressure on Bashir to step down, mainly over his mismanagement of the economy, and called on the military to hand over power to civilians.
Sudan was designated a state sponsor of terrorism in 1993 under former U.S. President Bill Clinton, cutting it off from financial markets and strangling its economy.
Washington lifted a 20-year trade embargo against Sudan in 2017 and was in the process of discussions on removing it from the U.S. terror list when the military stepped in on April 11 to depose Bashir, who ruled Sudan for 30 years.