Treasury loosens sanctions on Sudan

University students and professors in both countries will now be able to participate in exchange programs or academic research projects – universities in the United States can also provide scholarships to Sudanese students to help them afford the tuition for the exchange. The individuals will still be required to receive visas from the State Department and checks through the Department of Homeland Security.

Allowing the exchange programs to exist also lifts sanctions on transactions between banks in Sudan and the United States, for the purpose of transferring stipends, scholarship grants and tuition, application and testing fees.

The economic penalties stem out of the civil war in the country. The U.S. claims the government is responsible for supporting terrorism and imposing violence and other human rights abuses on its citizens, especially during the bloody fighting in the Darfur region.

Academics and non-profit organizations may also travel to the country to perform research or seminars on public health, environmental sustainability, education and Democracy building.

Humanitarian assistance will also now be allowed, but the United States will not be able to export any technology – including cell phones, laptops, software or any other kind of mobile device, the Treasury said.

“The ultimate objective of sanctions is behavioral change,” the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) told Congress in 2009. “It should be remembered that a sanctions program is but one part of a larger foreign policy toolkit, and any assessment of the effectiveness of sanctions must consider the sanctions in their proper role as an instrument of foreign policy, not as the complete expression of that policy.