By Jennifer Ugwueke
The United States says it has received $335 million (N127.3 billion) from Sudan as compensation to victims of terrorist attacks on American targets between 1998 and 2008.
Secretary of State, Mr Antony Blinken, who disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday, listed the attacks to include the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
Reports say 12 Americans, including two employees of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), were among the 224 persons killed in both attacks.
Families of the 17 U.S. sailors who died when al-Qaeda militants blew their ship, the USS Cole, at a port in Yemen in 2000, will also benefit from the payment.
Blinken also listed the family of John Granville, an American diplomat assassinated by gunmen in Khartoum on Jan. 1, 2008, as beneficiaries.
The U.S. blame Sudan for the attacks on the ground that the perpetrators were trained on its soil.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the compensation was a key condition for the removal of Sudan from the U.S. list of State sponsors of terrorism on Dec. 14.
Blinken said: “Achieving compensation for these victims has been a top priority for the Department of State.
“We hope this aids them in finding some resolution for the terrible tragedies that occurred.
“Last week, the Department transmitted to Congress the Secretary’s certification restoring Sudan’s sovereign immunities pursuant to the Sudan Claims Resolution Act, enacted last December.
“We appreciate Sudan’s constructive efforts over the past two years to work with us to resolve these long-outstanding claims.”
The Secretary of State said the U.S. and Sudan could now start a “new chapter” with the conclusion of the process to normalise relations.
“We look forward to expanding our bilateral relationship and to continuing our support for the efforts of the civilian-led transitional Government to deliver freedom, peace, and justice to the Sudanese people,” he added.