OFAC Sanctions Against Sudan

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctions against Sudan have been a critical aspect of U.S. foreign policy for decades. These sanctions, imposed in response to concerns over human rights abuses, terrorism, and other issues, have had a profound impact on Sudan’s economy, politics, and society.

The United States first imposed sanctions on Sudan in 1993, citing concerns over its support for international terrorism. Over the years, the scope and severity of the sanctions evolved in response to Sudan’s actions and international developments. In 1997, Sudan was designated as a state sponsor of terrorism, leading to comprehensive economic sanctions that restricted trade, investment, and financial transactions with the country.

In 1997, President Bill Clinton issued Executive Order 13067. In 2006, further sanctions were implemented pursuant to Executive Order 13400 which targeted persons and entities involved in the human rights abuses in the Darfur region of Sudan. President George W. Bush also issued Executive Order 13412, which exempted the regional Government of Southern Sudan from the country-based sanctions against Sudan.

The primary objectives of OFAC sanctions against Sudan have been to pressure the Sudanese government to address human rights abuses, support for terrorism, and other destabilizing activities. By imposing economic penalties and restricting access to the international financial system, the U.S. aimed to compel Sudan to change its behavior and comply with international norms and standards.

Impact on Sudan’s Economy

The impact of OFAC sanctions on Sudan’s economy has been profound. With restrictions on trade, investment, and financial transactions, Sudan faced significant challenges in sustaining economic growth and development. The sanctions hindered foreign investment, limited access to essential goods and technologies, and impeded the country’s ability to engage in international trade.

Furthermore, the sanctions contributed to the isolation of Sudan from the global economy, making it difficult for the country to attract foreign investment or access international financial institutions. This isolation exacerbated economic difficulties, leading to currency devaluation, inflation, and unemployment.

Policy Shift and Reconciliation

In recent years, there has been a significant shift in U.S. policy towards Sudan, culminating in the lifting of comprehensive OFAC sanctions in 2017. This change was driven by several factors, including Sudan’s cooperation on counterterrorism efforts, improvements in human rights conditions, and the desire to support Sudan’s transition to democracy.

The lifting of sanctions signaled a new chapter in U.S.-Sudan relations, opening opportunities for increased trade, investment, and diplomatic engagement. It also provided an impetus for Sudan to undertake reforms and address longstanding issues such as governance, human rights, and economic development.

While the lifting of OFAC sanctions represented a positive step forward, Sudan continues to face numerous challenges on its path to stability and prosperity. These challenges include political transition, economic reform, peacebuilding, and reconciliation. Additionally, Sudan must navigate the complexities of international relations and balance its relationships with various regional and global actors.


The OFAC sanctions against Sudan have been a contentious issue with far-reaching implications for the country and its people. They also have far-reaching and substantial implications for those doing business that involve Sudan. OFAC regulations can be complex and subject to frequent changes. A lawyer with expertise in this area can help you navigate the regulations and ensure that your business operations, transactions, and relationships comply with all legal requirements.

Conducting thorough due diligence is crucial when doing business in sanctioned countries like Sudan. An experienced OFAC lawyer can help you assess potential business partners, customers, and other entities to ensure compliance with sanctions regulations and mitigate the risk of engaging with sanctioned parties.


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