Congress will pass legislation in Sudan to uphold 9/11 terrorism claims

The House and Senate are expected to approve legislation that restores Sudan’s sovereign immunity as part of its removal from the list of state sponsors of terrorism.

The “Sudan Law Enforcement Act” is included in a massive spending bill at the end of the year. A year of busy negotiations between the White House, the State Department and Congress on finding a solution to support Sudan’s revolutionary democratic government, while preserving the rights of victims of terrorism, including the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, is coming to an end.

Lawmakers have reached an agreement to maintain legal avenues for the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to continue pursuing lawsuits against Sudan in the United States over Khartoum’s alleged role.

The legislation will also allow the release of $ 350 million to U.S. victims of the 1998 bombings of the Kenyan and Tanzanian twin embassies that Sudan has agreed to pay as part of resolving lawsuits over Khartoum’s role in those terrorist attacks. .

Lawmakers also included a provision to provide $ 150 million to African victims of the embassy attacks, who later became US citizens, to resolve their outstanding claims against Sudan. This amount is expected to be taken from the emergency funding of the State Department “and other issues”, according to the text of the legislation.

The bill will also ensure that Sudan continues to open US-mediated relations with Israel under the banner of the Abraham Accords. Signed in September, the agreements established diplomatic ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

The adoption of the Law on Resolving Sudan’s Claims reflects bipartisan support for Sudan’s fragile democratic government, which came to power in April 2019 after a grassroots revolution overthrew Omar al-Bashir’s 30-year dictatorship.

The cancellation of Sudan’s terrorist designation was the first step in trying to help the country move away from the brink of economic collapse, a situation that worsened with the COVID-19 pandemic, devastating natural disasters and a flood of Ethiopian refugees fleeing the fighting in this sense. the country.