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U.S. to remove Sudan from terrorism blacklist in return for Sh 36.4 billion

By Judah Ben-Hur | October 20th 2020
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) annual meeting at National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, U.S., March 2, 2019. [REUTERS, Joshua Roberts]

President Donald Trump has promised to remove Sudan from the State Sponsors of Terrorism List if the country deposits 36.4 billion as compensation for the 1998 terror attack victims in Kenya and Tanzania.

In a tweet, the U.S. president said that it will be a great step for Sudan and justice for Americans.

“Great news! New government of Sudan, which is making great progress, agreed to pay Sh 36.4 billion to U.S. terror victims and families. Once deposited, I will lift Sudan from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list. At long last, justice for the American people and big step for Sudan!”

Sudan was added to the list in 1993 over allegations that the now toppled Dictator Omar al-Bashir’s government was supporting terrorist groups. This made Sudan completely ineligible for debt relief and financial assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

U.S. courts also held the country liable to a Sh 642 billion compensation to survivors of the attacks on allegedly hosting Osama Bin laden in the country as he plotted the attacks.

The removal from the list has been the core mission of Sudan’s transitional government to boost the country’s economic state.

Sudan held a revolution steered by the people in December 2018 following an oppressive regime by Omar Bashir that led to price hikes for fuel and bread and cash shortages. In August, a transitional civilian government was established and has made a deal with the U.S. to continue engaging international institutions even before its name is scrapped from the list.

The country’s removal from the list will see it ushered into the world economic market and bring in foreign investments that have been missing for almost three decades. The deal will also see the waiver of billions of dollars’ worth of Sudanese debt to the U.S.

The deal to be scrapped from the list is tied to another agreement that requires Sudan to forge ties with Israel-a country that Sudan has been hostile to, like many Arab nations.

In September, Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said that the country wouldn’t want to link its removal from the list to its relationship with Israel. However, the Prime Minister did not rule out the possibility of it happening.

The U.S. made a similar move in building ties between Israel and the Arab nations of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

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