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Message to the Congress on the National Emergency With Respect to Sudan

November 03, 1997

To the Congress of the United States:

Pursuant to section 204(b) of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, 50 U.S.C. 1703(b), I hereby report to the Congress that I have exercised my statutory authority to declare that the policies of the Government of Sudan constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States and to declare a national emergency to deal with the threat.

Pursuant to this legal authority, I have blocked Sudanese governmental assets in the United States. I have also prohibited certain transactions, including the following: (1) the importation into the United States of any goods or services of Sudanese origin, other than information or informational materials; (2) the exportation or reexportation to Sudan of any nonexempt goods, technology, or services from the United States; (3) the facilitation by any United States person of the exportation or reexportation of goods, technology, or services from Sudan to any destination, or to Sudan from any destination; (4) the performance by any United States person of any contract, including a financing contract, in support of an industrial, commercial, public utility, or governmental project in Sudan; (5) the grant or extension of credits or loans by any United States person to the Government of Sudan; and (6) any transaction by any United States person relating to transportation of cargo to, from, or through Sudan, or by Sudanese vessel or aircraft.

We intend to license only those activities that serve U.S. interests. Transactions necessary to conduct the official business of the United States Government and the United Nations are exempted. This order and subsequent licenses will allow humanitarian, diplomatic, and journalistic activities to continue. Other activities may be considered for licensing on a case-by-case basis based on their merits. We will continue to permit regulated transfers of fees and stipends from the Government of Sudan to Sudanese students in the United States. Among the other activities we may consider licensing are those permitting American citizens resident in Sudan to make payments for their routine living expenses, including taxes and utilities; the importation of certain products unavailable from other sources, such as gum arabic; and products to ensure civilian aircraft safety.

I have decided to impose comprehensive sanctions in response to the Sudanese government's continued provision of sanctuary and support for terrorist groups, its sponsorship of regional insurgencies that threaten neighboring governments friendly to the United States, its continued prosecution of a devastating civil war, and its abysmal human rights record that includes the denial of religious freedom and inadequate steps to eradicate slavery in the country.

The behavior of the Sudanese government directly threatens stability in the region and poses a direct threat to the people and interests of the United States. Only a fundamental change in Sudan's policies will enhance the peace and security of people in the United States, Sudan, and around the world. My Administration will continue to work with the Congress to develop the most effective policies in this regard.

The above-described measures, many of which reflect congressional concerns, will immediately demonstrate to the Sudanese government the seriousness of our concern with the situation in that country. It is particularly important to increase pressure on Sudan to engage seriously during the current round of negotiations taking place now in Nairobi. The sanctions will also deprive the Sudanese government of the material and financial benefits of conducting trade and financial transactions with the United States.

The prohibitions set forth in this order shall be effective as of 12:01 a.m., eastern standard time, November 4, 1997, and shall be transmitted to the Congress and published in the Federal Register. The Executive order provides 30 days in which to complete trade transactions with Sudan covered by contracts that predate the order and the performance of preexisting financing agreements for those trade initiatives.


The White House, November 3, 1997.

NOTE: This message was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on November 4. The Executive order of November 3 is listed in Appendix D at the end of this volume.

William J. Clinton, Message to the Congress on the National Emergency With Respect to Sudan Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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