Removing Sudan from the terror list is welcome; Yes to assistance No extortion


The courageous non-violent revolution in Sudan has inspired us and deserves our active support. Instead the US government blames Sudan for the past actions of the very brutal regime they fought to remove from power. The moral obligation of the United States is clear and in this case it aligns well with the strategic interests of the United States. The United States should 1) guarantee Sudan its “legal peace” against any new terrorist claims through Congressional action, 2) provide immediate financial assistance, 3) remove Sudan from the travel ban, and 4) lead an international effort to provide Sudan with much-needed humanitarian and development support.

Charging Sudanese with a payment of $ 335 million when they don’t even have enough money for basic food and medicine is both cruel and shortsighted.

The United States is ridding Sudan of its antiquated designation as a state sponsor of terror. This is to be commended. However, the price for the Sudanese is too high. On Monday, October 19, Trump sent out a tweet announcing that the government of Sudan was paying $ 335 million in compensation for US citizens killed by Al Qaeda, while it was partially operational from Sudan. In return, the State Department removed Sudan from the terrorist list.

The Sudanese government appears to have been forced to normalize relations with Israel and join the short list of countries in the Middle East that are exchanging diplomatic ties with Israel. Sudan, like most Arab countries, has long expressed readiness to recognize Israel as part of a comprehensive agreement that also included Israeli recognition of an independent and viable Palestinian state, but had been reluctant to recognize Israel unilaterally. The seemingly successful US effort to force Sudan to do so hardly promotes peace or helps resolve the long-standing Palestinian question. Not to mention their extreme deterioration in living conditions.

US policies are adding to a nightmare for Sudanese who have just suffered the worst flood in a century. While the US has wasted a year in ridding Sudan of this terrorist designation, Sudan has been unable to trade around the world and get support from multilateral institutions to rebuild its economy and deal with covid19. The United States is extorting the Sudanese people for Al Qaeda’s terrorist attacks on US citizens. However, the Sudanese people and the current government are in no way responsible for such criminal acts. It was the government of Sudanese dictator Al-Bashir that protected Al Qaeda from the beginning to the mid-1990s, before the attacks on US interests in Kenya and Tanzania. In 2019, the Sudanese people revolted in a non-violent struggle and successfully ousted the dictator and his ruling party. The new government has managed to sign peace agreements that put an end to three civil wars.


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The victims of the bombing deserve reparations. If repairs are to be paid, let the United States and Saudi Arabia lead the way. The United States and Saudi Arabia are not the only ones responsible for Al Qaeda, but their policies have greatly boosted its growth. Al Qaeda was founded by Osama bin Laden who used Saudi-backed Salafi theology to create a violent group that opposed non-Sunnis and, ironically, following the Saudi monarchy. Its success has been attributed to the presence of US troops in Saudi Arabia and US support for Israel.

The US war and harmful policies in the region continue to affect people’s lives and cause suffering from Afghanistan to Somalia.

The US war and harmful policies in the region continue to affect people’s lives and cause suffering from Afghanistan to Somalia. Rather than using its military might to resolve long-standing conflicts in the region, the United States would have been much better served by using billions of dollars to pay reparations for war victims and US citizens killed by Al Qaeda. Saudi Arabia should be ordered to contribute to the latter.

Sudan is one of the poorest countries in the world, and only last year its people ousted the first Islamist dictatorship ever defeated by the power of the non-violent people. This is the kind of positive social change we should be advocating, not the hamstring. Charging Sudanese with a $ 335 million payment when they don’t even have enough money for basic food and medicine is both cruel and shortsighted. Sudan is estimated to have a debt of around $ 65 billion. Sudan has enormous potential to be a leader in the region to move towards secular, democratic and economic success. We should celebrate the bold nonviolent revolution in Sudan by investing in their economic development, empowering them to become the shining light and a role model for other countries in the region.

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