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Rights group warns US against swift normalisation with Sudan

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir [AFP]

Date of publication: 8 November, 2018

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Human Rights Watch cautioned the United States against lifting its designation of Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism.
Human Rights Watch cautioned the United States against lifting its designation of Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism.

The New York-based watchdog says Khartoum continues to violate basic human rights, with security forces regularly attacking civilians and opening fire on peaceful protesters.

Thursday's statement comes after Washington agreed to a second phase of rapprochement with Khartoum that includes six criteria, which if fulfilled would qualify Sudan to have the designation lifted.

The State Department says these include expanding counterterrorism cooperation and enhancing human rights protections and practices, including freedoms of religion and press.

Also on the list are "ceasing internal hostilities and creating a more conducive environment for progress in Sudan's peace process".

Washington also wants Khartoum to abide by UN resolutions related to North Korea.

The US placed Sudan on the list in 1993 when al-Qaeda and its chief Osama bin Laden found refuge in the country, whose longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir has embraced a hardline brand of political Islam.

Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes and genocide in the conflict-wracked western region of Darfur.

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