U.S. maintains sanctions against Sudan

10:06, November 02, 2010      

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U.S. President Barack Obama decided on Monday to maintain in force sanctions against Sudan as the largest African country is facing votes on whether allowing the south and the oil-rich Abyei region to break away.

In a letter to the U.S. Congress, Obama said actions and policies of the Sudan government are still "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 sanctions against Sudan to respond to this threat," Obama wrote in the letter released by the White House.

He noted that the Sudan emergency, first declared on Nov. 3, 1997, is to continue in effect beyond Nov. 3, 2010 for another year.

The U.S. has extended in stages sanctions on Sudan and put it on a list of state sponsors of terrorism. The renewed sanctions, among others, forbid U.S. trade with and investment in Sudan and block all property of the Sudanese government on U.S. soil.

The U.S. has been pushing vigorously for timely referenda on Jan. 9, 2011 respectively in south Sudan and Abyei. For Abyei, the vote will decide whether to join the north or south.

The two sides in Sudan are still wrangling over sensitive issues including voter's identity, making the prospect of on-time referenda rather bleak.

Source: Xinhua


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