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US to end some sanctions on Sudan, cites progress

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Washington (AFP)

The United States will end some of its toughest economic and trade sanctions imposed on the government of Sudan, the US State Department said Friday.

Sudan will remain blacklisted as a state sponsor of terror, and some targeted sanctions will remain, but the regime has made progress in ending domestic atrocities, senior administration officials said.

"The United States has decided to formally revoke a number of economically focused sanctions on Sudan," a senior official told reporters.

This, he explained, was "in recognition of the government of Sudan's sustained positive actions in five key areas."

A statement from State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the sanctions will come to an end next week October 12.

The measures in question date back to 1997 and 2006 and were designed to punish Khartoum for its forces' brutal actions in a series of internal conflicts.

Explaining the decision to end them, officials said Omar al-Beshir's regime has maintained a cessation of hostilities in Darfur, East Kordofan and Blue Nile.

In addition it has improved humanitarian access to former conflict zones and halted its attempts to destabilize South Sudan, granted independence in July 2011.

The officials said US and Sudanese counterterrorism cooperation had improved and Khartoum was now helping regional efforts to hunt Joseph Kony's rebel Lords Resistance Army.

But work remains to be done, and Washington wants to see more improvement in Sudan's behavior before there is talk of restoring full diplomatic ties.

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