U.S. Relations With Sudan

Bureau of African Affairs
Fact Sheet
November 3, 2015

More information about Sudan is available on the Sudan Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.


The United States established diplomatic relations with Sudan in 1956, following its independence from joint administration by Egypt and the United Kingdom. Sudan broke diplomatic relations with the United States in 1967 after the start of the Arab-Israeli War. Relations were reestablished in 1972. Sudan established links with international terrorist organizations resulting in the United States to designation of Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism in 1993 and to the suspension of U.S. Embassy operations in 1996. The U.S. Embassy was reopened in 2002.

The United States played a key role in helping create the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between Sudan and Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM) that laid the groundwork for South Sudan's 2011 independence referendum and secession. Several disputes between Sudan and South Sudan remain unresolved post-independence, including border demarcation and the status of the Abyei region. The United States supports international efforts of the African Union to help the countries work through these issues. Another issue unresolved by the CPA was the status within Sudan of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states – the “Two Areas.” Popular consultations called for in the CPA were precluded by the resumption of military action against the SPLM – North in those states. The fighting has continued into 2015.

In 2003, non-Arabs in Darfur, who since 1990 had been accusing the Government of systematic discrimination, marginalization and oppression, rebelled against the government, protesting decades of political and economic neglect. The government responded with a brutal force including the use of Arab militias known as Janjaweed. In the ensuing conflict, more than 300, 000 people were killed. To date, the conflict in Darfur has affected 4.4 million people, including more than 2.5 million internally displaced persons (IDPs). Violence continues to threaten Darfur despite two agreements that have failed to bring peace. The United States remains the largest donor of humanitarian assistance to Darfur. In FY2014 and FY2015 we provided over $88 million for humanitarian assistance.

U.S. policy in Sudan is focused on achieving a definitive end to gross human rights abuses and conflicts, including in Darfur, Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan, and encouraging an open and inclusive political dialogue, to address the real causes of Sudan’s persistent internal conflicts, and to ensure that Sudan does not provide a safe haven for international terrorists.

U.S. Assistance to Sudan

In the face of widespread humanitarian needs caused by conflict, displacement, and natural disasters, the United States has been a major donor of humanitarian aid to the people of Sudan throughout the last quarter century. The United States supports democratic development in Sudan, as well as a transition from emergency assistance to development assistance where conditions and security allow. From FY2002 to FY2015, the United States provided $7.1 billion for humanitarian, transition and reconstruction assistance, and peacekeeping support in Sudan. No U.S. assistance is provided directly to the Government of Sudan.

Bilateral Economic Relations

In 1997, the United States imposed comprehensive economic, trade and financial sanctions against Sudan due to its support for international terrorism, ongoing efforts to destabilize neighboring governments, and the prevalence of human rights violations. In 2007, the United States imposed new economic sanctions on Sudan in response to the government’s continued complicity in violence occurring in the Darfur region of Sudan. The sanctions block the assets of Sudanese citizens implicated in Darfur violence and sanction companies owned or controlled by the Government of Sudan. Sanctions underscore the U.S. commitment to ending the suffering of millions of Sudanese affected by the crisis in Darfur. The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) has also issued several general licenses which, under certain conditions, authorize the exportation and re-exportation to Sudan of food and agricultural equipment, medicine and medical devices, and personal telecommunication software and hardware, and also permit specific academic and professional exchanges.

The United States and Sudan have a small amount of bilateral trade. Sudan is a member of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, which has a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement with the United States.

Sudan's Membership in International Organizations

Sudan and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, International Monetary Fund and World Bank. Sudan also is an observer to the World Trade Organization.

Bilateral Representation

There currently is no U.S. Ambassador to Sudan; the U.S. Charge d'Affaires a.i. is Jerry P. Lanier. Other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List. In 2013, Donald Booth was appointed U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan.

Sudan maintains an embassy in the United States at 2210 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20008, tel: (202) 338-8565.

More information about Sudan is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:

Department of State Sudan Country Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Sudan Page
U.S. Embassy: Sudan
USAID Sudan Page
History of U.S. Relations With Sudan
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Countries Page
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Office of Foreign Assets Control Sanctions Page
Library of Congress Country Studies
Travel and Business Information