Terrorism sponsor no more? Obama hints at taking Sudan from the list.
US says it holds the door open for Sudan to be removed from the list of state sponsors of terrorism if it meets its 'obligations,' including recognition of an independent South Sudan.
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In his statement, Obama made special mention of Darfur, repeating US insistence that attacks on civilians there must stop.Skip to next paragraph
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Secretary Clinton said Sudan could be removed from the state-sponsor list if it meets the requirements of US law – including a finding that it had not sponsored any act of terror in the preceding six months.
“Removal of the state sponsor of terrorism designation will take place if and when Sudan meets all criteria spelled out in US law, including not supporting international terrorism for the preceding six months and providing assurance it will not support such acts in the future,” Clinton said. Khartoum must also fully implement all provisions of a 2005 peace agreement with the south, she added.
President Bashir may want off the US terror list, but he also has an eye on his July 2008 indictment by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity in Darfur.
Non-governmental organizations focused on Sudan and Darfur were cautiously optimistic about the official referendum results announced Monday, but said sustained international oversight would be crucial in the months leading up to southern Sudan’s independence.
'Sustained US ... attention'
The Genocide Intervention Network / Save Darfur Coalition urged “sustained US and international attention to the interim period before South Sudan's official independence in July,” said Amir Osman, the coalition’s senior director for policy and government relations.
“The United States and other international leaders must sustain aggressive diplomatic efforts to ensure a peace throughout Sudan, north and south," Mr. Osman said. "The south will require support in facing internal tensions and managing the high expectations that come with independence, and the Khartoum regime must be held accountable for its attacks on civilians and its ongoing efforts to block peacekeepers and humanitarian aid workers in the region.”
Khartoum’s Bashir still must prove his good intentions towards the south, but recent events in addition to Washington’s words Monday suggest he may be making headway internationally.
Last month the African Union issued a statement calling on the international community to drop its indictment of Bashir and to establish normal relations with Khartoum. And recent reports from Paris suggest the US and France have been considering a plan to encourage deferral of any action on Bashir’s indictment in exchange for his commitment to peace in the south and in Darfur.
IN PICTURES: South Sudan referendum