[Ed. – Rare agreement on anything.]
Aid workers lauded President Donald Trump’s decision this week to postpone permanently lifting U.S. sanctions on Sudan as a win for civilians in the country who have suffered through a brutal civil war perpetuated by human rights abuses.
Tom Catena, the only doctor permanently based in Sudan’s war-torn Nuba Mountains, said the delay will allow the administration time to evaluate whether President Omar al-Bashir’s government has made measurable progress after years of war and abuses.
Before leaving office in January, former president Barack Obama issued an executive order temporarily lifting trade sanctions on Sudan during a six-month review process. The temporary sanctions relief was set to become permanent on Wednesday, but Trump issued a zero-hour executive order extending the deadline by three months.
The Obama administration pointed to improvements in counterterrorism efforts in Sudan as a justification for lifting the sanctions. Human rights groups opposed the decision and said al-Bashir had not made progress across all five areas of concern required for U.S. sanctions relief, which included providing humanitarian access to civilians and ending funding to South Sudanese military forces, who have blocked aid.