Khartoum anger at US sanctions extension

31 October 2003
The government on 31 October condemned a decision by Washington to extend unilateral sanctions against Sudan for another year. Foreign Affairs Ministry official Mutrif Siddiq said that the extension of sanctions was illogical and breaks a promise to lift sanctions once a peace deal was made with rebels, reported the BBC. Washington has extended the measures because 'the actions and policies of the government of Sudan continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States' announced the White House. Officials in Sudan had hoped that sanctions would be dropped after the government and the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) reached a security agreement on 24 September as part of the ongoing peace talks (MEED 22:10:03).

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) announced on 31 October that about 7,000 people have died as a result of fighting in western Sudan during the last eight months. A USAID official said that more than 600,000 people had been made homeless in the Darfur region since February and about 300 villages had been burnt to the ground.

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