Sudan – The United States is taking steps to remove the “state sponsor of terror” tag from Sudan as a way of normalizing relations with the African country. Sudan has been blacklisted since 1993 and slapped with sanctions that have driven its economy into an abyss. The move is said to help the country recover, help the US combat terrorism, and strengthen US presence in Africa China and Russia make inroads.
Democratic Republic of Congo – The US Secretary of state Mike Pompeo is set to announce a new special envoy to the Great Lakes region in Africa. High on the list is an African scholar with a Washington-based think tank, J. Peter Pham. If selected, he will oversee US foreign policy in the region. The move is a reversal of former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s decision to eliminate such positions.
Myanmar – Following Amnesty International’s decision to strip her of the “Ambassador of Conscience” award, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence told Aung San Suu Kyi that her handling of the Rohingya crisis was “inexcusable.” The civilian leader of Myanmar has been accused for her inactions during the crisis. Vice President Mike Pence told her on the sidelines at a meeting in Singapore that, he is “anxious” to know the progress they make in bringing the perpetrators to book.
Saudi Arabia – The United States is preparing to impose sanctions on 17 Saudi Arabia citizens for their involvement in the killing of Washington Post journalist, Jamal Khashoggi. This came after the Saudis presented their report on the incident to the White House. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor says he will seek the death penalty for those involved in the cruel act. In Washington, there is a bipartisan call for tougher sanctions on the country, including halting the sale of military equipment.
UK: The leading Brexit negotiator has resigned from the British cabinet, causing a huge blow to the exit deal for the UK. Dominic Raab and another cabinet minister’s withdrawal came as a surprise to many, as it was “unexpected” and will pose a challenge for Prime Minister Theresa May. She is expected to face tougher challenges as she seeks parliamentary approval for her draft agreement.