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US expands visa restriction policy related to Sudan

US Secretary State Antony Blinken, on 6 April 2022 [Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency]
US Secretary State Antony Blinken, on 6 April 2022 [Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency]

The United States is expanding its current visa restriction policy to hold to account military or political actors who undermine or delay the democratic process in Sudan, Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, said on Wednesday, Reuters reports.

The policy will cover "any current or former Sudanese officials or other individuals believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic transition in Sudan, including through suppressing human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the immediate family members of such persons," Blinken said in a statement.

The US move comes after Sudanese political parties and the military signed a framework deal on Monday that they said would pave the way for two-year civilian-led transition towards elections and end a sometimes violent standoff triggered by a coup in October 2021.

READ: Sudan sees protests against deal between army, civilians

The deal could mark a new phase for Sudan, but has already faced resistance from protest groups opposed to negotiations with the military and from Islamist factions loyal to the regime of toppled leader, Omar Al-Bashir.

The United States and its partners welcomed the agreement and urged all parties to make a concerted effort to finalise negotiations on a new civilian-led government.

"Just as we used our prior visa restrictions policy against those who undermined the former civilian-led transitional government, we will not hesitate to use our expanded policy against spoilers in Sudan's democratic transition process," Blinken said in a statement.

READ: Sudan army, civilian factions sign deal to form civilian government

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