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US diplomat encourages foreign businesses to return to Sudan

October 18, 2019 at 1:06 pm

FIle photo of Sudanese currency []

In a move to attract international investment in Sudan, four US diplomats have opened accounts at a bank in the country for the first time in decades.

Deputy chief of mission at the US Embassy in Khartoum, Ellen Thorburn, and three other diplomats have opened accounts at a branch of the Bank of Khartoum.

“We lifted the economic sanctions in 2017 and we want to show that Sudan is open to business and those international banks and companies are welcome here again,” Ellen Thornburn told AFP.

READ: Sudan needs to tread carefully in its political transition 

The US diplomat said the initiative was taken at the right moment; after the civilian-led transitional government took office in September and made notable changes.

In 2017, Washington lifted a decades-old economic ban on Sudan, but kept the country on the US list of state sponsors of terrorism, damaging, according to Sudanese leaders, economic development and keeping foreign investors away.

The economic crisis triggered the protests movement that began in December 2018 and led to ousting President Omar Al-Bashir by the military in April.

In 1993, the United States listed Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism.