Compensation for Embassy Bombing Victims Could Imperil Thaw With Sudan
“Will this make up for all the pain and suffering, and all the pain that I put my family through, with my PTSD?” Mr. Khaliq asked. “No, it doesn’t. But I also feel like it at least gets to some level of resolution.”
Just as important is “to help these countries understand that supporting terror activity, or harboring terrorism, is not a nameless crime,” said Mr. Khaliq, who was in a meeting with the American ambassador to Kenya, Prudence Bushnell, when the bomb exploded. “And I would hate to see the potential agreement fall apart or crumble, because it’s not exactly perfect.”
Of the 224 people who were killed in the 1998 bombings in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, 54 were embassy employees or contractors, including 12 Americans, according to the State Department. Thousands more were injured, including 139 embassy employees and contractors.
Under its authoritarian president at the time, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, Sudan was added to the State Department’s list of nations abetting terrorism in 1993 for supporting Hezbollah and Palestinian militant groups. American courts ruled that Sudan was a vital participant in the embassy bombings that took place five years later, having provided passports, unrestricted border travel and shelter to the Qaeda militants before they attacked.
Only three other nations — Iran, North Korea and Syria — are currently on the State Department list that restricts assistance from the United States and, effectively, from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
But in 2016, Sudan cut its diplomatic ties with Iran and joined Saudi Arabia in its fight against rebel Houthis in nearby Yemen. (Both moves hew to policies supported by the U.S. government, although many of the Sudanese soldiers who were sent to fight in Yemen were children from the impoverished Darfur region.) And in the final days of the Obama administration, after years of negotiations, the United States began easing sanctions against Sudan to reward its government’s cooperation on fighting terrorism and ending military attacks on its people.