The United States is preparing to lift decades-old economic sanctions against Sudan, citing improvement on human rights and progress on counter-terrorism, a US official said on Thursday.
A Reuters report said that President Donald Trump’s administration is expected to announce its decision as early as Friday, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Shortly before leaving office, former President Barack Obama temporarily eased penalties that had been in place for 20 years against the African nation. In July, the Trump administration postponed for three months a decision on whether to remove the sanctions completely, setting up an Oct. 12 deadline.
It will also mark a major turnaround for the government of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir.
The White House declined comment. There was no immediate comment from the State Department.
Sudan’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs Hamed Momtaz told Reuters on Wednesday in Khartoum: “Sudan has fulfilled all the necessary conditions relating to the roadmap, and the US administration is a witness to that and therefore we expect the sanctions to be lifted.”
Rights groups raised concerns that it would be premature to remove sanctions.
The United States first imposed sanctions on Sudan in 1997, including a trade embargo and blocking the government’s assets, for human rights violations and terrorism concerns.