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The US is lifting most of the economic and trade sanctions it first imposed on Sudan two decades ago.

John Prendergast, founding director of the Enough Project, a human rights group focused on African conflict zones, called for targeted, financial sanctions that would spare ordinary Sudanese yet maintain pressure on Khartoum in order to achieve human rights improvements.

The next step is for the administration of President Donald Trump to notify the Congress about the decision so that it takes the necessary steps to lift the sanctions and suspend the trade and economic embargo and other penalties that the U.S. had imposed on Sudan. But the decision effectively ends a 20-year USA economic embargo against Sudan.

The July delay infuriated al-Bashir's government, which immediately announced it was freezing negotiations with the United States in retaliation. Sudan was the only country to be removed from the new list, which also added restrictions on several additional countries.

Nauert specified that further normalization of ties between the United States and Sudan was contingent upon continued progress in key areas: Further expanding humanitarian access, improving Sudan's human rights and religious freedom practices, and ensuring that Khartoum is committed to the full implementation of U.N. Security Council resolutions on North Korea.

The Sudanese government said on Wednesday that "it has fulfilled all the necessary conditions relating to the roadmap", stressing that "the United States administration is a witness to that and therefore we expect the sanctions to be lifted".

Sudan has also agreed not to seek arms deals with North Korea. Shortly before leaving office in January 2017, former President Barack Obama initiated a partial lifting of sanctions on Sudan.

The United States reportedly preparing to lift sanctions on Sudan, in response to the African state's alleged improvements on human rights and counter-terrorism, a USA official said on Thursday. Sudan stays on the USA list of state sponsors of terrorism. But last month the administration issued a new list and Sudan was the only country from the original list to be freed from the ban. The sanctions were later reinforced due to the civil conflict in the Darfur area.

Though Sudan has gradually shifted away from its role as a leader and supporter of Islamist movements over recent decades, Khartoum remains, with Syria and Iran, one of three states in the world designated as a sponsor of terrorism by the U.S., and the White House has stressed that a broad set of economic and financial sanctions against Sudan remains in place.