Rights group warns US against swift normalization with Sudan

Human Rights Watch is cautioning the United States against lifting its designation of Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism.

The New York-based watchdog says Khartoum continues to violate basic human rights, with security forces regularly attacking civilians and opening fire on peaceful protesters.

Thursday's statement comes after Washington agreed to a second phase of rapprochement with Khartoum that includes six criteria, which if fulfilled would qualify Sudan to have the designation lifted.

The State Department says these include expanding counterterrorism cooperation and enhancing human rights protections and practices, including freedoms of religion and press.

Also on the list are "ceasing internal hostilities and creating a more conducive environment for progress in Sudan's peace process."

Washington also wants Khartoum to abide by U.N. resolutions related to North Korea.