Sudan’s new PM seeks to remove Sudan from US terror list

Sudan’s PM Hamdok says getting off US terror list and cutting military budget will revive country’s faltering economy.

Sudan’s new Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has said that he has talked to US officials about removing Sudan from Washington’s list of countries sponsoring terrorism.

The news comes just days after Hamdok took charge of the country’s complex civilian-military transitional government. His formal appointment last week followed a mass protest movement that forced the removal of longtime authoritarian President Omar al-Bashir in April.

A sovereign council, comprising six civilians and five members of the armed forces, is set to rule the country for a little over three years until elections can be held.

As Sudan begins a new chapter, getting off the United States’s state sponsor of terror list is the “key to anything that we can do in this country”, Hamdok told the Associated Press news agency on Sunday, adding that a “democratic Sudan is not a threat to anybody in the world”.

Removing Sudan from the list would open the door to foreign investment and allow the country to receive a much-needed International Monetary Fund and World Bank bailout package, Hamdok said.

The US named Sudan a state sponsor of “terror” in 1993, and the designation stuck through the al-Bashir regime.

As one of the last acts of the Obama administration, the US began a formal process to delist Sudan in January 2017, lifting trade and economic sanctions in October.

But the process was put on hold when mass protests began in December 2018.

“We appreciate and understand that there is a process, both I think in government and Congress,” Hamdok said, adding that he hopes it happens soon because “it has very serious implications on our situation”.

“For 30 years, we were isolated. We were treated as a pariah state. We want to tell the world we are moving away from sanctions, issues of punishment and all that, to a Sudan that is coming back to the fold of normal nations.”

SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies