Sudan removed from US list of terror sponsors

Move paves the way for Sudan to continue its path to normalize relations with Israel.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

The United States embassy in Khartoum announced Monday that the State Department officially removed Sudan from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism.

“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 is effective as of today (December 14), to be published in the Federal Register,” the embassy posted in English and Arabic on its Facebook page.

Sudanese leader General Abdel Fattah Burhan tweeted the news to his nation, saying it was the result of the “effort made by the people of my country.”

“Greetings and congratulations to the Sudanese people on the occasion of Sudan’s exit from the list of states sponsoring terrorism,” Burhan said.

The U.S. had placed Sudan on the terror list in 1993 while the country was under the 30-year-long military dictatorship of Omar al-Bashir, who became the first sitting head of state to be charged by the International Criminal Court with war crimes.

Under al-Bashir, Sudan gave refuge to Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden and his terrorists who had used Sudan as a base for terror attacks including the twin 1998 bombings of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people and wounded 4,000 others. Al-Bashir was overthrown in a military coup last year and Burhan leads the transitional government.

In October, President Donald Trump announced the breakthrough that Sudan would establish diplomatic relations with Israel. At the same time, Sudan agreed to pay $335 million to compensate survivors and families of the victims of the embassy bombings.

Sudan had been on the terrorism list since 1993 and its economy suffered due to the heavy economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. Trump’s October declaration started the process of dropping Sudan from the list, which culminated in today’s announcement.

However, last week Burhan told American officials that before he finalizes diplomatic relations with Israel he wants additional guarantees from Congress that his country will not face further lawsuits.

In a bid to encourage Sudan, the State Department tweeted on Saturday that “the expansion of the Abraham Accords to include Sudan is a significant step that will further enhance regional security while creating opportunities for Sudan and Israel to deepen economic ties and improve the lives of their people.”

Under the Abraham Accords, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain agreed to normalize relations with Israel. They were joined by Sudan and most recently Morocco, which last week also agreed to establish diplomatic ties.