General

Sudan extends ceasefire ahead of expected lifting of US trade embargo

Khartoum (IINA) � Sudan will extend a unilateral ceasefire with rebels until the end of October, a decree by President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said on Sunday, two weeks before the United States plans to lift a 20-year-old trade embargo against Sudan, Reuters reported.

The US said on January 13 it would lift the embargo but would wait 180 days before doing so to see whether Sudan acts further to improve its human rights record and resolve political and military conflicts, including in warring regions such as Darfur.

On January 15, Bashir extended the ceasefire - in place since October 2016 - for six months in response to the US move.

The US said then that it would unfreeze Sudanese assets and lift financial sanctions as a response to Khartoum's cooperation in fighting Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL) and other militant groups.

Fighting between the army and rebels in Kordofan and Blue Nile regions broke out again in 2011, when South Sudan declared independence. Whilst conflict in Darfur began in 2003 when the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) rebel groups began fighting the government of Sudan, which they accused of oppressing Darfur's non-Arab population.

Source: International Islamic News Agency