US President Donald Trump announced on November 2 that he is extending sanctions against Sudan. This is a surprising announcement given recent progress in improving relations between the two nations.
To justify its decision, the White House says the crisis triggered by the Sudanese government’s actions and policies that led to various sanctions since 1997 is still unresolved. In a statement, the Trump administration also states that “these actions and policies continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.”
However, in recent months, the new Sudanese government established since the fall of General Omar al-Bashir has multiplied actions aimed at smoothing up relations with the White House. In early October, a historic peace treaty was signed with several rebel groups to put an end to the bloody conflict that is tearing the Darfur region apart.
To remove Sudan from the list of countries sponsoring terrorism, Donald Trump demanded the payment of $335 million to American victims of terrorism and their families. Despite the catastrophic situation of the East African country’s economy, the Transitional Council agreed to comply with this demand, which was decried by several Internet users but welcomed by Washington.
Also, the government of Abdallah Hamdok agreed to sign a normalization agreement with Israel, one of its long-standing enemies, after declaring in early 2020 that Sudan would not make obtaining US aid conditional on this normalization.
By meeting these criteria, the Sudanese authorities hoped to lift U.S. sanctions and rejoin the international financial system from which the country has been virtually excluded for several years. These efforts were not enough to convince Donald Trump.