Home | News    Wednesday 8 July 2020

U.S. Senator blocking Sudan’s removal from terrorism list

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July 8, 2020 (WASHINTON) - The U.S. ranking member in the Senate foreign relations committee Senator Bob Menendez is blocking a $300 million deal that would eventually see Sudan get off the list of states that sponsor terrorism.

Senator Bob Menendez (Reuters photo)According to the New York Post Menendez believes that the settlement shortchanges some of the victims.

The Sudanese transitional government reached a preliminary agreement with the victims of the 1998 twin terrorist bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

Senator Menendez reportedly wants the victims of the bombings who have become US citizens to receive the same compensation as citizens.

Last month the U.S. supreme court revived the possibility of collecting $4.3 punitive damage claims from Sudan on the embassy bombings.

U.S. courts held Sudan liable because in the 1990’s it hosted al-Qaeda terrorists who carried out the attacks.

According to the negotiated deal, the families of the 12 Americans murdered during the attack will receive $10 million each, while foreign victims would get $800,000.

About 224 people died in the bombing on the two embassies and over 4,000 were wounded.

Senator Menendez told the New York Post the agreement with the Sudanese government "simply does not do justice for the many victims who worked at US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in some cases for decades, and who are now American citizens."

"We must be sure that the United States reaches the best settlement possible for every American family impacted by these horrid terrorist attacks," he further stressed.

The spokeswoman for the Families of the Americans Killed in Nairobi Edith Bartley called Menendez’s stance a “travesty” in the wake of the killing of her Queens-born father, Julian Bartley, the first African-American consul general to Nairobi and the most senior US diplomat slain in the attack.

It also claimed her brother, Jay, 20, who was doing a summer internship at the embassy.

“It would be a travesty for any member to block the passage of this agreement over compensation levels,” Bartley wrote in a June 4 letter to the powerful Democrat.

The Sudanese transitional government which took power after the fall of the former regime of Omer al-Bashir worked hard to convince the U.S. administration to remove Sudan from the terrorism list on account of the removal of the dictator responsible for the atrocity, Sudan’s continued cooperation with the US on countering international terrorism and the country’s fragile transition to democracy.

Complicating the matter is Sudan’s dire economic situation due to its isolation from international financial institutions and foreign investments, both of which are refraining from dealing with the country due to its terrorism designation by the US. Coming up with the agreed amount for the compensation has proven challenging but Sudan is poised to fulfil its commitments in the agreement.

The New York Post said that despite Menendez objections, the US-Sudan Agreement has bipartisan support in Congress, and is being reviewed by the Senate which is expected to vote on the issue in the coming days. 

The Sudanese government wants a resolution enacted by Congress that would restore its sovereign immunity that was stripped because of the terrorism designation.

It is not clear however how the looming US elections would impact the calculus in the Senate which is currently under a Republican majority.

(ST)

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  • 9 July 06:01, by Angelo Achuil

    Bad title! The talk is not about whether Sudan deserves leniency, they do. Debate is about dividing the spoil. Should the original African victims be compensated like their fellow Americans? This man man indeed very brave - fighting for vulnerable who cannot defend their own!

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    • 9 July 09:34, by Fathi

      Actually it’s a great title since it ultimately blocks removal from the SST. It’s not about dividing the 300m but about demanding more. He’s speaking on behalf of victims who later ended up becoming American citizens not all victims. You say Sudan deserves leniency, but in what form should this leniency be shown?

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      • 9 July 09:39, by Fathi

        Not to mention that the attacks weren’t even carried out by Sudanese people or in Sudanese land. It was a bullshit political trial and Sudan didn’t have lawyers representing them throughout half the trial.

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        • 9 July 09:43, by Fathi

          Even if Sudan was actually responsible, why should entire country be held accountable for crimes of a dictator who rose to power via military coup, rigged elections, killed millions of us, and looted billions? In addition, the economic impact of the SST and other sanctions over the past 3 decades have been devastating.

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          • 9 July 09:46, by Fathi

            Especially when it was the Sudanese people themselves who ultimately removed Bashir and ordered dismantlement of the NCP.

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            • 9 July 09:51, by Fathi

              The attacks were carried out by Al-Qaeda. Sudan offered to extradite Osama bin Laden to the US in 1996. The US rejected the offer so Sudan deported Osama to Afghanistan. The attacks were carried out in 1998 & 2000. Why is Afghanistan not on the SST? Why do they not have to pay?

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              • 9 July 09:57, by Fathi

                Why not place Pakistan on the SST for all those years training the Taliban and for hosting Osama bin Laden, at the time of his death. Why not hold Pakistan or Afghanistan or Saudi accountable for 9/11? Why is Pakistan not accountable for the 1998 attacks, which were carried out by 2 Pakistani people?

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                • 9 July 10:00, by Fathi

                  Why not hold Saudi, Pakistan, Turkey, UAE, Qatar responsible for sponsoring terrorism all these years?

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                  • 9 July 10:03, by Fathi

                    The average person in Sudan was born after these attacks occurred. Majority of the people in Sudan are victims of Bashir and his crimes.

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                    • 9 July 10:11, by Fathi

                      Sudan’s economy is expected to shrink 8% this year alone, $60 billion in debt, 198% debt to gdp ratio, 25% of our population (10 million people)need humanitarian assistance. Meanwhile, this fat man, Bob Menendez, says we are shortchanging some of the foreign victims of Bashir(our oppressor) despite offering 300 million in total in addition to having paid $70 mill for the 2000 attacks near Yemen lo

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                      • 9 July 10:17, by Fathi

                        Rather than supporting our fragile transition to democracy, this guy believes we should pay more for our oppressor’s crimes. Keep in mind that Bashir was reported to be close to convincing the US to removing Sudan from SST in 2016, but he wouldn’t cut ties with Hamas & Hezbollah. The $370 million had nothing to do with those negotiations. The US has no intention of removing Sudan from the SST.

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