Sudan completes transfer of $335 million to U.S. victims of terror attacks as government moves to eliminate debt

Sudan’s central bank has transferred the compensation the nation agreed to pay U.S. victims of militant attacks and their families, allowing for the lifting of sanctions.

Sudan agreed to make the payment of $335 million, as part of a deal with the United States to get the country removed from its list of state sponsors of terrorism.

That listing has prevented the country from accessing debt relief and external borrowing.

In a press conference, central bank governor Mohammed al-Fatih Zainelabidine said, “Sudan has transferred the required amount.”

With the lifting of sanctions, Sudanese banks can begin restoring correspondence relations next week, after decades of being cut off from the international banking system.

The government has however been keen to dampen expectations of a swift economic boom.

“The Sudanese economy will not feel a fundamental change tomorrow morning,” Acting Finance Minister Hiba Mohamed Ali warned at the conference. “But there will be some rapid improvements, including moral and psychological.”

The Finance Ministry is lining up moves to eliminate Sudan’s debts and commitments to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

“We have prepared and are passing through a very delicate phase, and you will hear good news about it soon,” Ali said.

The Finance Minister also added that upon completion of those moves, the Eastern African country will apply for debt relief under the IMF and World Bank programme for Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC), allowing it to combine its $60 billion in debts to various parties into one pool.

The overthrowing of long time Islamist dictator President Omar al-Bashir last year has accelerated what was already an economic crisis.  The Sudanese pound has fallen to 220 to the U.S. Dollar on the black market from 50 pounds two years ago.

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