Sudan’s transitional government is expected to pay US$30m compensation to the families of seventeen sailors who were killed in a terrorist attack on USS Cole carried out by al Qaeda in 2000.
On February 7, Khartoum signed an agreement with the families of US sailors who died in the deadliest attack against the US naval vessel since 1987. This decision came amid the ongoing process to remove Sudan from the list of State Sponsors Of Terrorism (SST), according to an official statement.
Nasr al-Din Abdel Bari, the Justice Minister of Sudan, said on Wednesday that Khartoum will pay $30 million to the families of the 17 sailors killed during the attack on 12 October 2000.
However, despite the fact that the Sudanese government decided to use its own funds to compensate families for the loss of their loved ones, their statement explicitly affirms that neither the country itself nor its leaders were responsible for such a terrible act of terrorism.
Abdel Bari was quoted as saying: “The government has entered into this agreement out of keenness to settle the historical allegations of terrorism created by the former regime and only for the purpose of fulfilling the conditions set by the U.S. administration to remove Sudan from the list of state sponsors of terrorism and the normalization of relations with the United States and the rest of the world.”
In 2014, a U.S. court said that Sudan’s aid to al Qaeda “led to the murders” of the 17 Americans in the bombing of the USS Cole and awarded the families $35 million.