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. After Brigadier General Omar al-Bashir took power in a 1989 coup backed by Islamists, Sudan established links with international terrorist organizations, resulting in the United States’ designation of Sudan as a State Sponsor of Terrorism in 1993 and the suspension of U.S. Embassy operations in 1996. The U.S. Embassy was reopened in 2002.
Al-Bashir maintained power for nearly 30 years, until widespread popular protests that began in December 2018 resulted in his overthrow in April 2019. A Transitional Military Council governed the country until August 2019, when it agreed to cede power to a civilian-led transitional government (CLTG) following internationally supported negotiations. Abdalla Hamdok, a former international civil servant, served as Prime Minister and head of government. The Sovereign Council – a body comprised of six civilian and five military members and currently chaired by Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan – served as a collective head of state. The Constitutional Declaration, signed in 2019, required that this arrangement continue until democratic elections; the chair of the Sovereign Council is also due to transfer to a civilian, prior to elections. On October 25, 2021, Gen. Al-Burhan launched a military takeover that ousted Prime Minister Hamdok, dissolved the government, abrogated several tenets of the Constitutional Declaration, and jailed numerous political and civilian leaders. Hamdok returned as PM in a political arrangement with Al-Burhan in November 2021. However, Hamdok resigned in January 2022, citing ongoing security force violence against pro-democracy protesters and stasis in moving forward on Sudan’s transition. The UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission to Sudan (UNITAMS), the African Union (AU) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) are presently facilitating a political process aimed at renewing the transition. Following Gen. Al-Burhan’s July 2022 commitment to withdraw the military from politics and accept a civilian agreement on the formation of a new government, Sudanese civilian parties have been leading initiatives to develop a framework that would restore a civilian-led government in a transitional period leading to a democratic transition.
The CLTG had taken numerous steps to advance human rights, leading to its removal from the U.S. list of “Countries of Particular Concern” for International Religious Freedom in December 2020. On December 14, 2020, Sudan was also removed from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. This represented a fundamental change in the U.S.-Sudan relationship and allowed the United States to provide more robust support for Sudan’s democratic transition. Sudan has since seen an uptick in reports of human rights abuses and violations and restrictions on press and assembly since the October 25 military takeover.
In December 2019, the United States and Sudan had announced their intention to exchange ambassadors. Sudan’s Ambassador to the United States presented his credentials in September 2020. The White House announced its nomination of John Godfrey as Ambassador to the Republic of Sudan on February 3, 2022; he presented credentials to the government of Sudan on September 1, 2022.
Since independence, Sudan has struggled with multiple internal conflicts triggered by the political and economic marginalization of and sustained violence in its peripheral regions. The longest-lasting conflict was in Southern Sudan and the areas of Southern Kordofan, Blue Nile and Abyei, where the government fought with the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM) and other rebel groups. The United States played a key role in helping negotiate the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement between Sudan and the SPLM, which provided for South Sudan’s 2011 self-determination referendum and independence.
In 2003, non-Arab communities in the western region of Darfur rebelled against the government. The government responded with brutal force, including the use of Arab militias. In 2004, the United States characterized the government and affiliated militia attacks on civilians as genocide, and the International Criminal Court issued two arrest warrants for then-President al-Bashir for his role in the Darfur conflict. The United States had actively supported peace negotiations between the CLTG and armed opposition groups. The CLTG and a number of armed opposition groups signed the Juba Peace Agreement on October 3, 2020. The agreement seeks to integrate opposition groups into the government, incorporate armed militias into the security forces, provide for justice and reconciliation, and address resource and land allocation issues that lay at the heart of the conflicts in Darfur and the Two Areas (South
Kordofan and Blue Nile), allowing for the voluntary return of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees.
U.S. Assistance to Sudan
In the face of widespread needs caused by conflict, displacement, and natural disasters, the United States has provided humanitarian assistance to the Sudanese people for decades. As the largest international humanitarian aid donor, the United States continues to assist vulnerable populations in Sudan, including displaced and otherwise conflict-affected people, individuals living in camps for IDPs, local communities hosting IDPs, and formerly displaced returnees. In addition, the United States supports Sudan in creating an inclusive, transparent, and democratic society; increasing resilience of vulnerable populations to key shocks; and promoting inclusive economic growth. At the Sudan Partnership Conference hosted by Germany in June 2020, the United States pledged $356 million in development and humanitarian assistance, a commitment it has since exceeded.
United States development assistance supports Sudanese efforts to address Sudan’s center-periphery divide, to implement policies and economic reforms that will give Sudan’s people, including its women and youth, a better future, and to foster accountability for crimes against the Sudanese people. The U.S. government will continue to focus development assistance on programs that help ensure women, youth, and marginalized communities are able to participate meaningfully in building Sudan’s democratic foundation and emerging economic opportunities. In response to the military takeover, the United States paused and subsequently redirected foreign assistance to ensure that it did not benefit the Government of Sudan. Humanitarian and other assistance that benefits civil society actors, refugees, and other at-risk communities has continued.
Bilateral Economic Relations
In 2017, the United States revoked longstanding economic sanctions against Sudan. As a result, U.S. persons are generally able to trade and do business with individuals and entities in Sudan. These changes do not impact the property and interests in property of certain Sudanese individuals or entities blocked pursuant to Executive Order 13400 (2006) on Darfur. Given the change in the business and investment environment since the October takeover, on May 23, 2022, the U.S. Departments of State, the Treasury, Commerce and Labor issued a Sudan business advisory that highlighted the heightened reputational risks associated with doing business in Sudan, particularly with state-owned enterprises controlled by the members of the nation’s security services. Entities and individuals still need to comply with all other applicable provisions of law, including the Export Administration Regulations administered by the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS). Individuals should contact the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) or BIS for additional information:
Toll Free Hotline Number: 1-800-540-6322, Local Hotline Number: 1-202-622-2490, OFAC Licensing Division (Direct Number): 1-202-622-2480.
U.S. Department of the Treasury
Treasury Annex / Freedman’s Bank Building
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20220
E-mail OFAC: firstname.lastname@example.org
By mail: Office of Foreign Assets Control
(202) 482-4811 – Outreach and Educational Services Division
Export Counseling Division of the Office of Exporter Services at: ECDOEXS@bis.doc.gov
The United States and Sudan have a small but growing amount of bilateral trade. Since 2011, the United States has maintained a positive balance of trade in goods with Sudan.
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.
Principal embassy officials are listed in the Department’s Key Officers List.
Sudan’s Ambassador to the United States is His Excellency Mohamed Abdalla Idris Mohamed. 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 at the hyperlinks here:
CIA World Factbook Sudan Page
USAID Sudan Page
History of U.S. Relations With Sudan
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Country Page
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Office of Foreign Assets Control Sanctions Page
Library of Congress Country Studies