The United States Congress has passed a bill that includes largely restoring Sudan’s legal immunity, days after the country was formally removed from the US list of states sponsoring terrorism.
The legislation which was endorsed by both chambers of the U.S. Congress was released as part of the US government funding bill and sent to President Donald Trump to sign into law.
The restoration of Sudan’s legal immunity unlocks opportunities for foreign businesses to invest in Sudan, much needed by the country which is going through economic turmoil with its currency in constant devaluation and rising inflation that is affecting the living standards of many families. Sudan welcomed the U.S. Congress’ decision to approve restoring sovereign immunity, in a move that also pulled the former terror sponsor back into the international fold and opened the door for economic aid.
“Sudan is finally open for business,” Jalelah Sophia Ahmed, a Sudanese-American and co-chair of the Sudan Policy Network group which has been lobbying the US Congress on Sudan-related issues said.
“Right now, with the sanctions that were in place and the SST designation, companies could be held liable for doing business with Sudan. With legal peace granted, we will see business come to Sudan and invest in Sudan. That would create employment, reduce inflation,” She added.
According to the bill, the U.S. will disburse $111 million to pay off part of Sudan’s bilateral debt, and $120 to help pay off its debt to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Also, the legislation provides to support Sudan with $700 million until September 2022.
The legislation approved late Monday still allows existing lawsuits filed by families of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks to move forward, but shields Sudan from further litigation.
The step came after Washington earlier this month removed Sudan from its state sponsor of terror list on which it had lingered for 27 years.