Watchdog accuses Sudan of backing extremist groups

Lobby group Enough Project has accused Sudan of providing support to extremist groups and radicalising and recruiting the youth to join the Islamic State (IS) and Al-Qaeda.

A new Enough Project report, released Wednesday, highlighted serious concerns about Khartoum's links to extremists, perpetrating faith-based abuses and regional destabilisation.

It urged the US to scrutinise its relations with Sudan as the latter seeks normalisation of bilateral ties with Washington and the removal from the rogue states' list.

The US last October lifted its Comprehensive Economic and Financial Sanctions imposed on Sudan in 1990s.

The move was based on Khartoum pledging to fight terrorism and to respect the US foreign policy on Sudan. It also promised to cease human rights abuses, allow unhindered access to aid agencies across the country and end the war in the Nuba Mountains and Darfur.

However, the Enough Project report noted that Sudan had faltered on its commitment to the fight against international terrorism.

“The Sudanese regime maintains alliances and policy stances that threaten US interest, US allies, and security in multiple regions across Africa and the Middle East,” Dr Suliman Baldo, a Senior Policy Advisor at Enough Project said.

He said Khartoum's position raised questions about its interests and reliability as a counterterrorism partner for the US and its allies.

“The US policy makers should seriously consider the potential threats and consequences of a softened stance on a regime that claims to fight terrorism while empowering extremist groups,” he said.

The report urged the US to press Khartoum to end support to groups that advocate violent extremist ideologies and pre-empt their extensive ongoing programmes for the radicalisation and recruitment of the youth into IS and al-Qaeda.

The report also alleged that Khartoum was exporting weapons to conflict-affected countries in Africa and the Middle East.

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