In a bid to have Sudan taken off the United States terrorism list and improve relations with the West, the African country's transitional government said that it has now reached a settlement with families of the victims of the 2000 attack on USS Cole in Yemen. According to international media reports, the settlement is the latest step from Khartoum to end its international pariah status. The 2000 attack in Yemeni port of Aden reportedly killed 17 sailors and wounded more than three dozen others. Sudan was also accused of providing support to al-Qaida, which later claimed responsibility for the attack.
According to reports, in order to receive funds from international leading institutions, Sudan's interim authorities are also desperate to have its listing by US as a state sponsor of terror lifted. Sudan's justice ministry reportedly said that the recent agreement was signed with the victim's families but its settlement gave no details of the settlement. The deal also included compensations for both those wounded and the families of those killed in the attack.
Sudan’s information minister and interim government spokesman told the media outlet that the figures could, however, not be disclosed because the Sudanese government is still in negotiations to reach a similar settlement with families of victims of the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. It is further believed that if Sudan is removed from the US terror list, it will end the country's economic isolation and further allow it to attract much-needed loans from international financial institutions in order to rebuild the economy.
It has recently also been announced that Sudan's ruling council has decided to hand over former president Omar al-Bashir to the International Criminal Court (ICC). The former president Omar al-Bashir is wanted by the ICC for war crimes and genocide, however, Bashir has repeatedly denied the allegations made against him.
Darfur has witnessed severe violence since the beginning of the civil war in 2003. Darfur is located on the western edge of Sudan. Bashir was accused by rebel groups of oppressing Sudan's non-Arab population. Human rights groups have reported that Bashir used militia forces to launch ground, air and even chemical weapon attacks against civilians. According to UN reports, apart from those killed in fighting between local armed groups, and Bashir's forces and government-backed militia, around 2.5 million people were displaced in the war.