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Sudan's PM calls for removing country from US list of state sponsors of terror

Abdalla Hamdok says Sudanese people should not be punished for Bashir's government's actions
'These sanctions have caused tremendous suffering to our people,' Hamdok says (Reuters/File photo)

Sudan's Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has called for lifting international sanctions against Khartoum and called on Washington to remove Sudan from its list of state sponsors of terrorism. 

Addressing the United Nations General Assembly in New York late on Friday, Hamdok saluted Sudan's revolution that toppled long-time ruler Omar al-Bashir, saying that Khartoum is looking to start a new era of respecting human rights and cooperating with the international community.

"The people of Sudan are seeking to start a new phase, different from the past three decades, reaching out to our neighbours and to the world," he said. 

"We are committed to the principles of international human rights law in order to eliminate discrimination, exploitation, injustice and inequality."

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But for Sudan to accelerate "reconstruction and development" efforts, sanctions must be lifted, the prime minister said.

Sudan has been on Washington's list of state sponsors of terrorism since 1993. It remains there with Syria, Iran and North Korea.

"Let me be clear, the Sudanese people have never been sponsors or supporters of terrorism. That was the former regime - which the people rebelled against - that supported terrorism," Hamdok said.

"These sanctions have caused tremendous suffering to our people. Therefore, we call on the United States to remove Sudan from the list of state-sponsors of terrorism and to stop punishing the Sudanese people for crimes committed by the former regime."

Sudan has been in turmoil since protests began late last year against the 30-year rule of Bashir. The Sudanese military toppled Bashir in April, but the demonstrations continued, calling for a civilian-led government.

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After a violent crackdown that left more than 120 protesters dead in a single day in June, the military came to a power-sharing agreement with the opposition. 

Last month, Hamdok, a former deputy executive secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa, was sworn in as Sudan's first post-Bashir prime minister.

At the General Assembly in New York, Hamdok has been promoting a "new Sudan" and meeting regional and international leaders.

Earlier on Friday, he held talks with US officials to call for removing his country from the list of state sponsors of terrorism.

"We had a very useful discussion on the issue of state-sponsored terrorism. We hope as we move forward we will be able to conclude very soon an agreement that would allow Sudan to be delisted," he said, as reported by Reuters.

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