February 6, 2023

United States expands visa restriction policy for individuals undermining the democratic transition in Sudan

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken joint press availability with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong, and Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defense Richard Marles as part of the 2022 Australia-U.S. Ministerial Consultations at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on December 6, 2022. [State Department photo by Ron Przysucha
Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken joint press availability with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong, and Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defense Richard Marles as part of the 2022 Australia-U.S. Ministerial Consultations at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on December 6, 2022. [State Department photo by Ron Przysucha

The United States government said on Wednesday that it is expanding its visa restriction policy for individuals undermining the democratic transition in Sudan.

In a statement, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said that the move “reflects our continued resolve to support the people of Sudan in their manifest desire for a responsive and responsible civilian-led government.”

“I am announcing today an expansion of the current visa restriction policy under Section 212(a)(3)(C) (or “3C”) of the Immigration and Nationality Act to cover any current or former Sudanese officials or other individuals believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic transition in Sudan, including through suppressing human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the immediate family members of such persons,” Blinken said.

“We welcome the December 5 signing by Sudanese parties of an initial framework political agreement – an essential first step toward forming a civilian-led transitional government and establishing constitutional arrangements for a transitional period. We support the plans by Sudanese civilian parties and the military to hold inclusive dialogues on outstanding issues before concluding a final agreement and transferring authority to a civilian-led transitional government, and we call for quick progress toward these ends.

“In support of the Sudanese people’s demands for freedom, peace, and justice under a democratic government, and recognizing the fragility of democratic transitions, the United States will hold to account spoilers – whether military or political actors – who attempt to undermine or delay democratic progress. To that end, I am announcing today an expansion of the current visa restriction policy under Section 212(a)(3)(C) (or “3C”) of the Immigration and Nationality Act to cover any current or former Sudanese officials or other individuals believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic transition in Sudan, including through suppressing human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the immediate family members of such persons.

“This action expands the Department’s tools to support Sudan’s democratic transition and reflects our continued resolve to support the people of Sudan in their manifest desire for a responsive and responsible civilian-led government. Just as we used our prior visa restrictions policy against those who undermined the former civilian-led transitional government, we will not hesitate to use our expanded policy against spoilers in Sudan’s democratic transition process.

“We once again call on Sudan’s military leaders to cede power to civilians, respect human rights, and end violence against protestors. At the same time, we urge representatives of Sudan’s civilian leaders to negotiate in good faith and place the national interest first.”


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