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Sudan to be taken off US list of countries that sponsor terrorism

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The Republic of Sudan will no longer be on the list of state sponsors of terrorism, according to US President Donald Trump on Monday, after Sudan committed to pay some $353 million to American terrorism victims and their families.

Trump tweeted: “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!”

But Reuters reports that Sudan’s acquiescence could go further than paying the money. US-brokered talks between the North African nation and Israel could yet yield the establishment of diplomatic relations between Sudan and the Jewish state. The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are already opening their doors to Jerusalem.

Sudan has from 1993 been identified by the US as a state sponsor of terrorism along with others like Iran. The US believed that the erstwhile Omar al-Bashir government gave support to militant organizations in the sub-region.

The transitional government that replaced Bashir after he was deposed has suffered from the weight of the listing. Sudan is in dire need of foreign financial and logistical support as one of the world’s poorest countries seeks to overcome economic, food and infrastructural problems.

Bashir is currently facing charges of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Sudan’s transitional government has been under pressure to deal with the allegations of crime and corruption leveled against Bashir and his close associates. Added to this have been the unmet expectations of reforms that have only contributed to anger and frustration.