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Sudan signs settlement agreement with families of ‘destroyer Cole’ victims

MV Blue Marlin carrying USS Cole
MV Blue Marlin carrying USS Cole [Wikipedia]

Sudan announced, Thursday, the signing of an agreement with the families of the victims of the bombing of the American destroyer USS Cole in 2000, to fulfil the conditions for removing the country name from the “state sponsors of terrorism.”

This came in a statement issued by the Sudanese Ministry of Justice, on Thursday, which clarified that the agreement was reached within the framework of the transitional government’s efforts to remove the country’s name from the US list of terrorism-sponsoring nations.

“On 7 February, a settlement agreement was signed with the families and victims of the bombing of the American destroyer Cole, but the litigation procedures against Sudan are still ongoing before the US courts,” said the Ministry.

The statement added that “there is an explicit affirmation in the agreement that the government is not responsible for this incident or any other incidents.”

The Ministry noted that the government “entered this settlement out of keenness to settle the historical allegations of terrorism left by the former regime, to fulfil the requirements of the US administration to remove Sudan from the “list of state sponsors of terrorism.”

The statement of the Sudanese Ministry of Defence did not clarify the terms of the settlement.

Read: Is Sudan’s power-sharing government about to fall apart?

In March 2019, the head of the US Congress delegation to Sudan, Goss Billerax, said that “Washington will negotiate with Khartoum, in the second phase of the bilateral dialogue, the payment of compensation in allegations and rulings against Sudan related to terrorist attacks.”

“This includes US court rulings related to the bombing of the American embassies in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi in 1989 and the attack on the American destroyer Cole in 2000,” said Bellerax.

In the USS Cole attack, 17 American sailors were killed, dozens were wounded, and the affected and their families filed suit in 2010.

On 6 October 2017, the administration of US President Donald Trump lifted economic sanctions and trade embargoes imposed on Sudan since 1997.

However, Sudan has not been removed from countries sponsoring terrorism list, as it has been listed since 1993 for hosting the late al-Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden.

 

 

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