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Sudan, USS Cole victims reach settlement paving way for removal from terror list


February 13, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - The transitional government reached an agreement with the families of U.S. sailors killed in the al Qaeda bombing of the destroyer USS Cole, within the framework of the ongoing process to remove Sudan from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism (SST)

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The port side damage to the guided missile destroyer USS Cole is pictured after a bomb attack during a refueling operation in the port of Aden in this October 12, 2000 (Reuters file photo)

According to a written statement extended to Sudan Tribune by the Justice Minister Nasr al-Din Abdel Bari on Wednesday, Khartoum will pay $30 million to the families of the 17 sailors killed during the attack on 12 October 2000.

Abdel Bari said the settlement agreement which was signed on 7 February has explicitly affirmed that the Sudanese government is not responsible for this incident or other incidents or acts of terrorism.

The government has entered into this agreement out of keenness to settle "the historical allegations of terrorism created by the former regime and only for the purpose of fulfilling the conditions set by the U.S. administration to remove Sudan from the list of state sponsors of terrorism and the normalization of relations with the United States and the rest of the world," he stressed.

In 2014, a U.S. court said that Sudan’s aid to al Qaeda "led to the murders" of the 17 Americans in the bombing of the USS Cole and awarded the families $35 million.

However, in April 2019 the Supreme Court rejected a bid by families of the 17 sailors to collect some $35 million in damages from Sudan for its alleged role in the attack.

The settlement was concluded to definitively close the case and prevent future cases before the U.S. courts.

On 6 February, Abdel Bari met with Tibor Nagy U.S. Assistant Secretary for African affairs to the Sudanese government efforts to finalize the normalization process of bilateral relations.

On 24 February the Supreme Court will hear a case by the victims of the 1998 bombing of the U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

The judges will consider a rule by an appeals court that overturned about $4.3 billion in punitive damages of $10.2 billion initially awarded to the families.

An agreement over this matter will pave the way for the U.S. administration to remove Sudan from the terror blacklist.

Under Secretary for Political Affairs, David Hale on 14 January urged Sudan’s Foreign Minister Asma Abdallah to pay financial compensations to family members of the victims of terrorist attacks before to remove the impoverished country from the SST list.

"The Under Secretary underscored that compensation for the victims of terrorism remains a priority for the U.S. government," said the State Department after the meeting.


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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 13 February 2020 09:19, by Fathi

    Good job being on top of things while clearly stating that we are not responsible because the charges are bogus and that we are only doing this because the US is holding our economy and our democratic transition for ransome $

    repondre message

    • 13 February 2020 09:24, by Fathi

      "The Under Secretary underscored that compensation for the victims of terrorism remains a priority for the U.S. government"

      Notice how this statement alone undermines any negotiations that could’ve been taking place to settle the charges. Given the urgency and need for debt relief, the families suing have no reason to negotiate now.

      repondre message

      • 13 February 2020 09:35, by Fathi

        Now, that we have settled this case, almost finalized the peace process, and are working on settling the bogus charges for the Tanzania & Nairobi attacks, in addition to helping the US legitimize their unjust African Criminal Court aka International Criminal Court, the US should begin delisting Sudan from the bullshit SST list.

        repondre message

  • 13 February 2020 17:48, by Not your taste

    Well, all can say what ever about the new government of Sudan but the truth is, to survive in the world of today, leaders have to be visionaries and look to the interest of the people not their own. Long term plans for future generations. Good job Sudan. Who will imagine this day will come when all Sudanese will move at least freely and do business like THE rest of the Arab countries who cry all d

    repondre message

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