“Receiving compensation for these victims has been a priority for the Department of State. We hope this will help them find a solution to the horrific tragedies that have occurred,” Blinken said.
The multi-million dollar settlement was an important part of the rise of the Sudanese regime, which had supported decades of being replaced by terrorism, which came with a series of sanctions, including a ban on foreign defense deployments and trade restrictions on US foreign aid.
Trump officials removed the post after $ 335M was transferred to an escrow account and after Sudan announced it had agreed to renew relations with Israel, in October 2020.
The money was kept in that login account until it was returned to Sudanese communities – which prevented it from being sued in the organisation’s court.
A State Department spokesman told CNN that the money was released from the escrow on March 11.
Blinken said on Wednesday the State Department last week “handed over to Congress the Secretary’s certificate of restoration of autonomy in Sudan in accordance with the Sudan Claims Resolution Act enacted last December.”
“We are grateful for Sudan’s constructive efforts over the past two years to work with us to resolve these long-standing claims,” Blinken said. “With this challenge facing us, U.S. relations can begin a new chapter.”
“We look forward to expanding our partnership and continuing to support the efforts of a democratically led revolutionary government to bring freedom, peace and justice to the people of Sudan,” he said.
More than 200 people were killed and thousands more injured in 1998 when al Qaeda twin bombs shook US embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Sudan, under the leadership of ousted President Omar al-Bashir, defended Osama bin Laden and was found to be assisting al Qaeda workers.
“The families of the American people killed in the US embassy bombings thank the Biden-Harris administration for following the Trump administration’s signature on the US-Sudan deal and their efforts to complete the launch,” said Edith Bartley, who lost her father and brother in a bomb blast in Kenya. they were also killed by bus bombs.
Bartley said “they are very grateful for the united political coalition that was committed to passing the law last year and led by Senator Chris Coons of Delaware and supported by Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Senen. Roy Blunt of Missouri, Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey and House and Senate Leadership.”
He told CNN that he hoped the situation would lead to Sudan becoming a key US ally in that part of the world.
USAID official John Granville was attacked and killed in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on New Year’s Day in 2008.
In October 2000, 17 American sailors were killed at sea and 39 were injured when a USS Cole bombed a suicide bomber while he was in Yemen searching for petrol. The Sudanese government has denied any involvement in the attack. In 2014, a U.S. court ruled that Sudan had provided al Qaeda with assistance that led to the attack.
A spokesman for the State Department said $ 335 million from Sudan “added $ 72.5 million to an area already paid for by many USS COLE victims.”
“This concludes the multi-year process of negotiating a bilateral application agreement and ensuring the enactment of a law that provides for the return of troops to Sudan,” they said.
The Sudan Claims Resolution Act was part of a bill signed by former President Donald Trump in late December. It has recaptured the immune system in Sudan without charges from victims of the 9/11 family and families. The protection of pending cases has been a major factor in the negotiations, as the families of 9/11 feared that a repeat of the agreement could jeopardize their case against the African nation.
The move also set out another major point of contention over the previous agreement – unequal compensation for victims of the 1998 US embassy in Tanzania and Kenya. Under the $ 335M payout between the US and Sudan, those who were US citizens at the time of the bombing would have received more than those who became citizens after the fact and foreign embassy staff. The law signed into law as part of the omnibus included $ 150M in additional funds to allow for equal compensation between the firstborn and ordinary citizens.