(December 21, 2020 / JNS) Legislation protecting victims of terrorism and restoring Sudan’s immunity from terror-related lawsuits has been included in the must-pass omnibus government spending bill, which also includes coronavirus relief.
The Sudan Claims Resolution Act (SCRA) follows the Trump administration’s removal last week of the Northeast African country from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism after it agreed in October to normalize ties with Israel. The development is a boon for Sudan’s struggling economy, as it will help the country to receive loans from international organizations.
“The SCRA … is a hard-fought victory that accomplishes four crucial objectives: It fully preserves and protects the legal claims of 9/11 families—claims that the Trump administration attempted to eliminate; it restores Sudan’s sovereign immunity; it unlocks and ensures equal compensation for and treatment of all U.S. citizen victims and families of the East Africa embassy bombings; and advances the interests of victims of terrorism more broadly,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) in a statement on Monday.
“As we said throughout months of intense negotiations, the United States has critical strategic and national security interests in supporting Sudan’s fragile transition to democracy,” they continued. “However, that support should not and will not come at the expense of protecting the rights of terrorism victims, and the rights of all American citizens, regardless of nation of origin.
“We were ultimately able to work on a commonsense compromise, free of poison pills, that addresses the grave shortcomings in the Trump administration’s original deal with Sudan. Now that the state sponsor of terrorism designation for Sudan has been lifted and victims’ claims can be responsibly resolved, we look forward to working with the incoming Biden administration to develop a plan to further advance those critical national security, humanitarian and development goals.”
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