Sudan close to a deal with US over embassy bombings: Minister

Foreign minister says Khartoum will soon compensate victims of the al-Qaeda attacks in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.

    Nearly 230 people were killed in the attacks and more than 5,000 wounded [File: Reuters]
    Nearly 230 people were killed in the attacks and more than 5,000 wounded [File: Reuters]

    Sudan is finalising a deal with the United States to compensate the victims of the 1998 US Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, Foreign Minister Asmaa Abdallah said on Tuesday.

    The twin blasts took place in August 1998 when a truck bomb hit the US consulate in downtown Nairobi, followed by an explosion at the one in Dar-es-Salaam.

    "The final touches of a settlement with victims of embassy bombings in Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam are being finalised," Abdallah told AFP news agency.

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

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

    150617195614740

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

    The US Supreme Court in February appeared open to reinstating $4.3bn in punitive damages against Sudan in lawsuits accusing the now-overthrown regime of strongman Omar al-Bashir of complicity in the bombings that killed 224 people.

    After reaching a deal, Sudan "will have fulfilled all the requirements" to be removed from the US blacklist of "state sponsors of terrorism", Abdullah said.

    In February, Khartoum agreed to compensate the families of 17 US Navy sailors killed in an al-Qaeda attack on the USS Cole warship in Yemen nearly 20 years ago.

    Dozens of other American sailors were wounded in the bomb blast on October 12, 2000, when two men in a small boat detonated explosives alongside the US Navy guided-missile destroyer as it was refuelling in the southern Yemeni port of Aden.

    Is al-Qaeda a myth?

    UpFront

    Is al-Qaeda a myth?

    SOURCE: News agencies