The Latest: Human Rights Watch welcomes US move on Sudan

The Latest: Human Rights Watch welcomes US move on Sudan


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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on a move by the Trump administration to delay its decision on lifting sanctions against Sudan (all times local):

3:35 p.m.

Human Rights Watch has welcomed the Trump administration's move to postpone permanently lifting U.S. sanctions on Sudan.

Washington said it wanted more time to determine whether the government of President Omar al-Bashir had made enough progress after decades of isolation, war and abuses.

Jehanne Henry of Human Rights Watch said the group thinks "the decision to postpone makes a lot of sense, given the situation on the ground."

She also said the rights group urges the U.S. government "to assess Sudan's performance on human rights issues using more specific benchmarks than were included in Obama's executive order."

Sudan earlier on Wednesday retaliated, announcing it was freezing negotiations with the United States till mid-October, according to a brief announcement carried by the official SUNA news agency.

Al-Bashir and his government had previously said they met all requirements and expected sanctions to be lifted, although activists and opposition had disagreed.

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12:05 p.m.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has ordered that all negotiations with the United States be frozen until Oct. 12, after the Trump administration delayed its decision on whether to permanently lift sanctions on the North African country.

Al-Bashir announced the decision in a brief statement carried by the official SUNA news agency on Wednesday. He and his government had previously said they met all requirements and expected sanctions to be lifted, although activists and opposition disagreed.

Just before leaving office in January, former President Barack Obama issued an executive order lifting decades-old Sudan sanctions on a probationary basis.

Temporary sanctions relief took effect immediately, and was to become permanent on Wednesday unless the Trump administration acted to stop it.

President Donald Trump, in a new executive order on Tuesday, moved that deadline back by three months.

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1 a.m.

The Trump administration has delayed its decision on whether to permanently lift sanctions on Sudan, giving itself three more months to determine whether the African country's government has made enough progress after decades of isolation, war and abuses.

Just before leaving office in January, former President Barack Obama issued an executive order lifting decades-old Sudan sanctions on a probationary basis. Temporary sanctions relief took effect immediately, and was to become permanent on Wednesday unless the Trump administration acted to stop it.

President Donald Trump, in a new executive order issued on Tuesday, moved that deadline back by three months, while keeping the temporary sanctions relief in place in the meantime. That means that the Sudan sanctions will permanently expire on October 13 unless the administration acts to snap them back into place.

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