The United States has formally removed Sudan from its state sponsor of terrorism blacklist, its Khartoum embassy said Monday, less than two months after the East African nation pledged to normalise ties with Israel.
The move opens the way for aid, debt relief and investment to a country going though a rocky political transition and struggling under a severe economic crisis exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
US President Donald Trump had announced in October that he was delisting Sudan, 27 years after Washington first put the country on its blacklist for harbouring militants.
“The congressional notification period of 45 days has lapsed and the Secretary of State has signed a notification stating rescission of Sudan’s State Sponsor of Terrorism designation,” the US embassy in Khartoum said on Facebook.
The measure “is effective as of today (December 14), to be published in the Federal Register.” As part of a deal, Sudan agreed to pay $335 million to compensate survivors and victims’ families from the twin 1998 al-Qaeda attacks on US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and a 2000 attack by the jihadist group on the USS Cole off Yemen’s coast.
Those attacks were carried out after dictator Omar al-Bashir had allowed then al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden sanctuary in Sudan. Bashir was deposed by the military in April 2019, following four months of street protests against his iron-fisted rule and 30 years after an Islamist backed coup had brought him to power.
Protesters stayed on the streets for months after Bashir’s removal from office, demanding a military council that seized power hand over to a civilian government, before a precarious power-sharing administration was agreed in August last year.—APP