Sudanese men with mock rockets marked with the name of Hamas, Jan. 8, 2009. (AP/Abd Raouf) AP Photo/Abd Raouf

In a bid to end US sanctions, Sudan reportedly takes action against terror groups.

By United with Israel Staff

Prime Minister of Sudan Abdalla Hamdok is closing down Hamas and Hezbollah offices in his country in a bid to end US sanctions against the country, according to Middle East Eye (MEE), a London-based online news outlet that has been linked in the past to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Sudan was placed on the US list of countries sponsoring terror in 1993 after the late al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was hosted in its capital city of Khartoum, along with other Islamic terror leaders. The invites led to economic sanctions being placed on the African country.

A “reliable Sudanese source,” who asked for anonymity because he was not authorized to speak with the media, told MEE, “The government will close the offices of Hamas and Hezbollah and any other Islamic group designated as terrorist groups that has presence in Sudan, because Sudan has nothing actually to do with these groups and the interests of Sudan are above everything.”

He added, “Actually they have hidden their presence in the past few years but we won’t tolerate any individual’s presence in the future.”

In early December, during a five-day historic visit to Washington by Hamdok and Sudanese chief of intelligence Mustafa Dambalab, where they visited the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency and met its director, Gina Cheri Haspel, and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the countries would exchange ambassadors following a 23-year suspension.

Returning to Sudan following his US visit, Hamdok said that lifting sanctions would “take some time due to procedures in the US”, stressing, “We are going on the right track,” according to the report.

A 2016 US report on terrorism said, “Reports indicate that the Government of Sudan has ceased providing Hamas with any direct support as they did in years past.”

Economic sanctions were lifted against Sudan in 2017. However, it remained on the list of countries sponsoring terror. Therefore, it has not been reintegrated into the global banking system and continues to struggle economically.

According to the US Bureau of Counter-Terrorism website, “To designate a country as a State Sponsor of Terrorism, the Secretary of State must determine that the government of such country has repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism. Once a country is designated, it remains a State Sponsor of Terrorism until the designation is rescinded in accordance with statutory criteria.  A wide range of sanctions are imposed as a result of a State Sponsor of Terrorism designation.”

Sudan has been on the list since 1993 with “[e]lements of al-Qa’ida (AQ)-inspired terrorist groups remain[ing] in Sudan,” notes the site.

“In 2013, the Government of Sudan remained a generally cooperative counter-terrorism partner and continued to take action to address threats to U.S. interests and personnel in Sudan.”

However, the bureau writes, “In 2013, Sudan continued to allow members of Hamas to travel, fund-raise, and live in Sudan.”

It credits Sudan as being “generally responsive to international community concerns about counter-terrorism efforts.”

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