US deputy Africa commander in Sudan, hails ‘new beginning’
CAIRO (AP) — A U.S. deputy commander for Africa on Wednesday welcomed a “new beginning” and a “renewed relationship” between the U.S. and Sudan following the African country’s removal from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism.
The remarks by Andrew Young, a deputy commander at U.S. Africa Command, or AFRICOM, came on the third day of his visit to Sudan, the first such visit since Washington’s delisting effectively ended Sudan’s pariah status.
Sudan is on a fragile path to democracy after a popular uprising led the military to overthrow longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir in April 2019. The county is now ruled by a joint military and civilian government that seeks better ties with Washington and the West.
The U.S. late last year removed removed Sudan from its list of state sponsors of terrorism, after nearly three decades on the list.
“This is a new beginning and the start of a renewed relationship between the U.S. and Sudan. This is a journey we want to take together,” Young told Sudanese troops at a military academy in the capital, Khartoum. “We want to deepen and broaden our relationship and pursue shared objectives.”
Young and U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Heidi Berg, AFRICOM’s intelligence director, arrived in Sudan on Monday. They met with Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, head of the ruling sovereign council, and also Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.
“This week is a significant moment in the resumption of a relationship between our two countries, a relationship based on trust and a mutual commitment to ensuring peace and prosperity in Eastern Africa,” said Berg.