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Sudan, US sign agreement to restore sovereign immunity

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Sudan and the United States have signed an agreement to restore the African country’s sovereign immunity.

The Sudanese Ministry of Justice said in a statement on Friday that the agreement will settle cases brought against Sudan in US courts, including for the bombing of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, for which Sudan has agreed to pay a $335m compensation to victims.

Last week, US President Donald Trump announced he would take Sudan, which the US designated as a state sponsor of terrorism in 1993, off the list once it had deposited the amount it had pledged to pay in compensation for the bombings.

“New government of Sudan, which is making great progress, agreed to pay $335 MILLION to US 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!” Trump tweeted earlier this month.

Following the decision, Trump announced normalisation agreement between the African nation and Israel.

The US placed Sudan on the list in 1993, four years after Omar al-Bashir seized power, accusing his government of supporting “terrorism” by sheltering al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Washington further accused Khartoum of providing logistical and financial support to al-Qaeda and of helping it bomb the US embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya in 1998 and to attack the USS Cole off the port of Aden in 2000.

It also placed comprehensive economic and trade sanctions on Sudan which were eased by former US President Barack Obama during his final weeks in office in 2017.

Being on the list has kept foreign investors away from Sudan, depriving it of much needed hard currency to sustain an economy that was dealt a heavy blow when South Sudan became independent in 2011, taking with it three-quarters of Sudan’s oil output.

With no foreign trade and starved of hard currency, authorities have long struggled to contain the country’s spiralling inflation.

Last month, annual inflation rose to 212.29 percent from 166.83 percent in August, according to the country’s Central Bureau of Statistics.

The removal from the list has been a top priority for Sudan’s transitional government which has been in power since August last year following the military removal of longtime President al-Bashir in the face of months-long protests against his rule.

Source: Al Jazeera

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