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Bush extends sanctions against Sudan over Darfour

11/7/2005 7:44pm

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration extended terrorist sanctions on Sudan, as a sponsor of terrorism, in a move that prevents U.S. arms sales to Khartoum. Khartoum first came under U.S. sanctions in 1997.

Officials said the sanctions were renewed amid Sudan's failure to stop the violence in the western province of Darfour. Current sanctions had been scheduled to expire on Nov. 4, Middle East Newsline reported.

"The crisis between the United States and Sudan constituted by the actions and policies of the government of Sudan that led to the declaration of a national emergency on Nov. 3, 1997, has not been resolved," Bush said in a message to Congress on Nov. 1. "These actions and policies are hostile to U.S. interests and pose a continuing unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States."

"Therefore, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared with respect to Sudan and maintain in force comprehensive sanctions against Sudan to respond to this threat," the president said.
Sudan has been on the State Department's list of terrorist sponsors despite an assertion by officials that Khartoum has helped the United States in the war against Al Qaida. They said Khartoum and Washington have established an intelligence exchange regarding Al Qaida and other regional threats.

The U.S. extension of the sanctions came during the visit to Washington last week by Sudanese Vice President Salva Mayardit. Mayardit, who met Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, was appointed to succeed the late rebel leader John Garang, killed in an airplane crash on July 30.

Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick, who has visited Sudan three times this year, said he would travel to Khartoum this week. Zoellick would review Sudanese cooperation with the United Nations and African Union in enforcing a ceasefire in Darfour reached a year ago.

"There are a number of items that we want to see progressing," Zoellick said. "And that's one reason why I am going to Sudan. It is to try to make sure that the policies that are represented under the CPA [Comprehensive Peace Agreement] are on track and all the parties are participating."

Later, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer said Zoellick would promote a common negotiating position between Darfour rebels and the regime. Ms. Frazer said the deputy secretary would also seek Khartoum's permission to enable the delivery of Canadian armored personnel carriers for the AU mission in Darfour.

"We've built 32 base camps," Ms. Frazer said. "We've provided about $160 million to support other [AU mission in Sudan] peacekeeping missions. So, we have to keep building that capability of the African Union to try to create an environment of peace while we work for the ultimate solution, which is a political settlement."

In 2005, the Bush administration removed Sudan from the State Department's list of major human trafficking offenders. Bush also waived rules that prevented Khartoum from hiring a Washington lobbyist.

At the same time, the House Appropriations Committee rejected a $50 million administration request to expand the AU peacekeeping mission in Darfour. The committee determined that Sudan has failed to cooperate with the AU.

"The administration is on the wrong track and sending exactly the wrong message," Rep. Michael Capuano, a co-chairman of the House Sudan Caucus, said.

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