Sudan to be removed from state sponsors of terrorism list, Trump announces via tweet


US President Donald Trump has said Sudan will be removed from a list of state sponsors of terror if it pays compensation of $335m (£259m).


Trump said on Twitter that once the $335 million that Sudan has agreed to pay as part of a settlement for victims of twin bombings against the US Embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998, he will lift the designation.


Sudan has been listed since 1993 when al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden lived there as a guest of the government.


Trump's announcement comes months after the US and Sudan reached a bilateral settlement agreement.


Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok responded by saying the funds had been transferred but there was no immediate US confirmation.


In a tweet, Donald Trump wrote: "GREAT news! New government of Sudan, which is making great progress, agreed to pay $335 MILLION 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!"


The Trump administration has, for weeks, been pushing for the transitional government in Sudan, led by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, to normalise relations with Israel.


The president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and a team of international negotiators from the White House and State Department had taken the lead on brokering these deals between Israel and a number of countries, including Sudan, Oman and Morocco.


Relations between the US and Sudan have improved since President Omar al-Bashir was ousted after mass street protests last year. Mr Bashir had ruled for 30 years.


The US president has the power to remove a nation from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list. Congress then has 45 days to object.


Sudan is currently one of four countries - along with Iran, North Korea and Syria - on the blacklist.


With the nation under a transitional government, Pompeo has voiced support for delisting Sudan with certain prerequisites.


"This is an opportunity that doesn't come along often. We all know the history of Sudan and the tragedy there," Pompeo said at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in late July.


Pompeo said that there was now a chance not only for a democracy to be established, but regional opportunities that could flow from that as well.


More than 200 people were killed and thousands were injured in 1998 when twin al Qaeda bombings rocked the US Embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Sudan, under the leadership of al-Bashir, sheltered Osama bin Laden and was found to have assisted the al Qaeda operatives.


Mr Hamdok said Sudan was looking forward to the official notification by the US authorities. He added, being on the list had cost the country "too much".

0 comments