The US government has extended sanctions against Sudan for another year, saying that Khartoum’s policies remained an “extraordinary threat” to its national security, the AFP news agency reports.
“The actions and policies of the government of Sudan continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States,” President Barack Obama said in a statement.
Sudan has been subject to a US trade embargo since 1997 for its alleged support of terror groups.
The former head of the jihadist group Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden was based in Khartoum between 1992 and 1996.
The US also denounced the tactics of the Sudanese government in its conflict with rebel minorities in the western region of Darfur.
The extension of the sanctions has surprised diplomats in Khartoum who were expecting a softening of the US position, following regular visits made by the US envoy to Sudan, Donald Booth.
The Embassy of the United States in Khartoum, however, said in a statement that the extension “does not prejudge the possibility for the President to decide on a lifting of sanctions at any time in the future,” and added that “Washington wants to continue its dialogue with Khartoum.”
The conflict in Darfur remains a sensitive issue in relations between the US and Sudan.
In September 2015, the United States refused to grant a visa to Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to attend the United Nations General Assembly in New York because of the arrest warrant issued against him by the International Criminal Court (ICC).