The first US ambassador to Sudan in 25 years took up his post Wednesday in the latest easing of ties since Washington removed Khartoum from it state sponsors of terrorism list.
Ties between the United States and Sudan were severely strained under the three-decade rule of ousted president Omar al-Bashir, with Washington slapping crippling economic sanctions on Khartoum.
In 1993, the US blacklisted Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism as Bashir’s regime hosted Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden, who resided in the country between 1992-1996.
“Ambassador John Godfrey arrived today in Khartoum, the first US Ambassador to Sudan in nearly 25 years,” the US embassy said in a statement.
The ambassador’s arrival comes as Sudan reels from deepening unrest and a spiralling economy since last year’s military coup led by army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.
The military power grab, Sudan’s latest, upended a fragile transition installed following the 2019 toppling of Bashir.
“Godfrey will work to strengthen relations between the American and Sudanese people and to support their aspirations to freedom, peace, justice, and a transition to democracy”, it added.
“He also looks forward to advancing priorities related to peace and security, economic development, and food security”.
Relations with Washington eased under Sudan’s now-ousted transitional government led by former prime minister Abdalla Hamdok, who took office following Bashir’s 2019 ouster on the back of mass protests against his rule.
In December 2019, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States would appoint an ambassador to Khartoum.
In May 2020, Sudan named an ambassador to the US. Later that year, Washington removed Khartoum from its blacklist.