President Donald Trump announced Sudan’s removal from the state-sponsored terrorism list once it pays an agreed-upon $335 million settlement to US victims of 1998 al-Qaida attacks. The attacks on the USS Cole and the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania happened while Osama bin Laden, the deceased leader of al-Qaida, was living in Sudan. The two countries have been negotiating a settlement for most of the year.
President Trump tweeted, “GREAT news! The 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!”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Sudanese Prime Minister Hamdok have been negotiating a settlement since February 2020. The two have spoken on the phone at least 3 times since the beginning of the year, and Secretary Pompeo traveled to Sudan in August. The discussions have involved both the settlement agreement and Sudan’s subsequent removal from the state sponsors of terrorism list and a possible peace agreement with Israel. The Trump Administration has been working toward Israeli peace agreements with additional countries in the Middle East since it announced those with the United Arab Emirates and Yemen earlier this summer.
Sudan has been on the state sponsors of terrorism list since the 1990s when Osama bin Liden lived in the country. Sudan will be able to access international loans and aid once it is removed from the list. The Sudanese government released a statement in April stating its goal in the negotiations was getting the nation removed from the state sponsors of terrorism list. “Removing Sudan’s name from this list is necessary to remove the stigma of terrorism of the people of Sudan and to reintegrate Sudan back in the international community,” the statement said.