The United States has formally removed Sudan’s designation as a “state sponsor of terrorism”, 27 years after putting the country on its blacklist.
The announcement was made by the US embassy in Khartoum and comes into effect on Monday.
“The congressional notification period of 45 days has lapsed and the Secretary of State has signed a notification stating rescission of Sudan’s State Sponsor of Terrorism designation is effective as of today [December 14], to be published in the Federal Register,” the US embassy said on Facebook.
The removal from the list was a top priority for Sudan’s transitional government, which has been in power since August last year following the removal of longtime President Omar al-Bashir in the face of months-long protests against his rule.
The US government added Sudan to its list of “state sponsors of terrorism” in 1993 over allegations that al-Bashir’s government was supporting “terrorist” groups.
The designation made Sudan technically ineligible for debt relief and much-needed financing from major international institutions.
Congratulations to @SudanPMHamdok and the government of #Sudan on being removed from the U.S. Special Watch List of countries with severe religious freedom violations. The U.S. recognizes #Sudan‘s progress and its commitment to supporting religious freedom.
— Brian Shukan (@USCDASudan) December 10, 2020
US President Donald Trump said in early October the US was going to remove Sudan from the list after Khartoum paid a $335m settlement to American victims of an attack by armed groups on US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.
Trump sent his notice to the US Congress on October 26 and, under US law, a country exits the terror list 45 days later, unless Congress objects, which it has not.
Although Khartoum has sought to downplay the connection, Trump’s decision paved the way for Sudan to normalise relations with Israel, making Khartoum one of the four Arab countries – together with United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and, most recently, Morocco – to do so in the past three months.
Three countries now – Iran, North Korea and Syria – remain on the State Department’s list of “state sponsors of terrorism”.