The United States will lift some of its toughest long-standing economic and trade sanctions imposed on Sudan, according to US officials.

The US state department announced its decision to revoke the penalising measures – in place since 1997 – on Friday.

It cited the country’s “sustained positive actions to maintain a cessation of hostilities in conflict areas in Sudan, improve humanitarian access throughout Sudan, and maintain cooperation with the United States on addressing regional conflicts and the threat of terrorism”.

A statement from State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the sanctions will come to an end on October 12.

Yet, some targeted sanctions will remain, and Sudan will remain on the US list of “states sponsors of terrorism” which carries a ban on weapons sales and restrictions on aid.

READ MORE: US sanctions on Sudan under the spotlight

The decision by US President Donald Trump’s administrations follows a process that was started by his predecessor, Barack Obama, at the end of his tenure.

Shortly before leaving office, Obama temporarily eased penalties against the country. 

In July, the state department announced it would postponed by three months a final decision on whether to permanently lift the sanctions, setting up an October 12 deadline.

Human rights groups see the decision to remove sanctions as premature.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies

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