European Union lauds U.S. plan to remove Sudan from terror blacklist

21 Octobre, 2020, 02:47 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo left with General Abdel Fattah al Burhan on his trip to Sudan in August 2020

President Donald Trump announced on Monday the United States would remove Sudan from its list of state sponsors of terrorism as soon as Khartoum sets aside the $335 million it has agreed to pay to American victims of militant attacks and their families.

The move, a major boost for Sudan's civilian-backed government after decades as an worldwide pariah, came after Khartoum agreed to a $335 million compensation package for victims and relatives of past attacks, Trump wrote on Twitter.

"US intention to lift the State Sponsor of Terrorism designation of #Sudan is momentous", Borrell wrote on Twitter. "At long last, JUSTICE for the American people and BIG step for Sudan!" he tweeted.

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok quickly thanked the President and said he looks forward to a transition into democracy for his people.

Trump has not yet formally notified Congress that he is lifting the designation, and lawmakers would have the ability to block it.

He blamed Sudan's past support for terrorism, including Al-Qaeda under Osama bin Laden and violence in Darfur, entirely on the Bashir regime.

A Sudanese government source said Khartoum was ready to pay compensation to United States embassy bombing victims. Thanks to U.S. sanctions dating back to the 1990s, Sudan has been largely cut off from worldwide banking.

In return for being delisted, Sudan's transitional government has agreed to pay $335m to victims of the attacks on the embassies and the USA destroyer.

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The SST removal would pave the way for Sudan to be relieved of its debts under the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank's Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative, as well as to attract much-needed investment. Last month, annual inflation rose to 212.29 percent from 166.83 percent in August, according to the country's Central Bureau of Statistics.

Other representatives for the families of victims said the settlement deal was reasonable and should be implemented swiftly by the U.S. Congress to stabilize Sudan and secure its continued cooperation in regional anti-terrorism efforts.

The impact of the lack of hard currency can be seen daily in the long queues for bread and fuel filling the sidewalks of Khartoum.

The Trump administration, seeing leverage as it eyed removing the designation, has also leaned on Sudan to normalise relations with Israel, following the lead last month of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. In his place, military leaders are sharing power with civilians in a transitional government that has struggled with political and economic crises and urgently sought the end of these sanctions.

Though Trump made no mention of Israel in his tweet announcing the breakthrough with Sudan, rapprochement between Israel and another Arab country would give Trump a new diplomatic achievement as he seeks re-election on November 3.

In September, talks between the two sides in the UAE failed to produce a deal, with reports suggesting that Sudan had asked for oil and wheat shipments, as well as billions of dollars to aid its deteriorating economy in return for such a move.

One possibility, one USA official said, would be for Washington to first announce plans for Sudan's delisting and then leave it to Sudan and Israel to go public later with an agreement on establishing relations.

Sudan has been on the list since 1993 When its former leader was believed to have supported militia groups.

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