Sudan signs agreement with US to normalize relations

The Sudan government announced Wednesday that it has signed an agreement with the US in a move to normalize relations.

The agreement is part of steps being taken by Sudan to normalize relations with the US and Israel. As part of the agreement, Sudan will be able to borrow over USD $1 billion annually from the World Bank, which ceased loaning to the country nearly 30 years ago. Additional agreements include the US giving the World Bank, to whom Sudan is deeply indebted, a $1 billion bridge loan on behalf of Sudan and $1.1 billion of other aid from the US.

Prior to the agreement, Sudan placed $335 million in an escrow account. The money is intended to compensate US terrorist attack victims, including those affected by the Kenya and Tanzania US embassy bombings in 1998, which killed 224 persons. The attacks were undertaken by al-Qaeda, a terrorist organization whose leader lived in Sudan at the time. It is also believed that Sudan acted as a channel by which weapons were transported to Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip from Iran. In exchange for Sudan opening the escrow account, the US took Sudan off its list of State Sponsors of Terrorism.

The agreement is a victory for Sudan’s current government, which seeks to better its relationship with the US and other Western nations—a relationship muddied by previous Sudanese governments. After taking over office in 2019 following the removal of former president Omar al-Bashir, the country’s government has struggled with a large budget deficit, extensive essentials scarcity and runaway inflation.