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Sudan Says Near Settlement With US for 1998 Embassy Bombings

Sudan Says Near Settlement With US for 1998 Embassy Bombings

Tuesday, 23 June, 2020 - 13:00
Members of a family who lost a relative, stand next to a plaque bearing the names of those killed in the August 1998 bombing of the US embassy in Nairobi | AFP
Asharq Al-Awsat

Sudan is close to finalizing a deal with the United States to compensate the victims of 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people, Foreign Minister Asma Abdalla said Tuesday.


"The final touches of a settlement with victims of embassy bombings in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam are being finalized," Abdalla told AFP in an interview.


"We now have a delegation in Washington negotiating with the victims' lawyers and officials at the US Department of State."


The twin bombings took place in August 1998 when a massive blast hit the US embassy in downtown Nairobi, shortly followed by an explosion in Dar es Salaam.


The attacks claimed by Al-Qaeda killed a total of 224 people and injured around 5,000 -- almost all of them Africans.


The US has accused Sudan of aiding militants linked to the militant bombings and demanded compensation for victims' families.


Sudan has since August been led by a transitional administration following the military ouster of President Omar al-Bashir in the wake of mass protests against his rule.


Under Bashir's 30-year rule, the country adopted a more radical course of Islam, hosting Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden between 1992 and 1996.


This strained ties with the US, which blacklisted Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism.


The post-Bashir government has sought to boost the country's international standing and rebuild ties with the US.


In February, Sudan had to compensate families of victims of the USS Cole bombing in 2000 in Yemen's Aden harbor, for which Al-Qaeda also claimed responsibility.


Khartoum had always denied any involvement but agreed to the settlement to fulfill a key US condition to remove it from Washington's terrorism blacklist.


After the deal on the embassy bombings, Sudan "will have fulfilled all the requirements" to be removed from the US blacklist of state sponsors of terrorism, Abdalla said.


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