US opens export of cellphones, communications tools to Sudan
WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States is easing sanctions against Sudan to allow Americans to send smartphones, laptops and other communications hardware and software.
The change comes even as U.S. officials denounce Sudan for blocking international investigations into reports its soldiers inflicted mass rapes on women in Darfur last year.
Longstanding economic sanctions condemn Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism and for attacks on civilians and interference with humanitarian aid in war-torn Darfur.
But U.S. Special Envoy Donald Booth said Tuesday that opening the export of personal communications technology to Sudan would benefit its people. He says it will promote free speech and help Sudanese citizens communicate with each other, access the Internet and connect to the world.
Booth noted similar changes to U.S. sanctions against Iran and Cuba in recent years.