Donald Trump ducks a decision on sanctions on Khartoum

FIRST came the Iran nuclear deal; then the Cuban thaw. But less remarked upon at the time was Barack Obama’s rapprochement with another old foe: Sudan, whose president, Omar al-Bashir, is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of orchestrating genocide. In January Mr Obama temporarily lifted economic sanctions on Sudan that had first been imposed 20 years ago by Bill Clinton. The move was a reward for “positive actions” by Sudan. The regime has co-operated with America in fighting terrorism, allowed more aid workers to reach civilians hurt in Sudan’s conflict zones and tried to end its wars with rebels in the south. Yet the decision on whether to end sanctions permanently fell to Mr Obama’s successor.

On July 11th Donald Trump ducked the decision for another three months, with an executive order saying he wants to see “sustained progress”. America’s intelligence agencies, and some of its allies such as Saudi Arabia, had pushed hard for an easing of...

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