Inside Story

Is Sudan ready to have restrictions lifted?

US president Barack Obama signs executive order to scale back a 20-year-old trade embargo on Sudan.

US sanctions have been imposed on Sudan for the past 20 years, but that is about to change.

One of President Barack Obama’s final executive orders is to lift some of those economic restrictions.

Americans will be allowed to export goods and do business in Sudan. In return, Sudanese assets in the US will be unfrozen.

The change in policy is not immediate – a six-month probation period comes first.

Sudanese leaders say it is a positive development, but opponents question dealing with President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted for war crimes.

The White House says Sudan is making strides but warns sanctions can be re-imposed if it backtracks.

Is the easing of sanctions premature?

Presenter: Sohail Rahman


Hassan Makki – Head of the Center of Research and African Studies at the International University of Africa

Harry Verhoeven – Visiting scholar from Cambridge University who specialises in conflict and the political economy in the Horn of Africa

Hafiz Mohammad – Director of Justice Africa, which campaigns for human rights and social justice