Sudan and the families of the victims of the attack on the U.S.S. Cole have jointly asked the court give them more time to implement a compensation deal they struck last February.
On 13 February, Sudanese Justice Minister Nasr al-Din Abdel Bari said that his government would pay $30 million to the families of the 17 sailors killed during the attack on 12 October 2000.
Abdel Bari said the settlement agreement which was signed on 7 February has explicitly affirmed that the Sudanese government is not responsible for this incident or other incidents or acts of terrorism.
However, in a Joint Status Report filed on 24 March, the plaintiffs and Sudanese government lawyers asked the U.S District Court For The Eastern District of Virginia Norfolk Division to give them an additional delay until 3rd April to implement the deal.
“The parties continue to work together closely to complete performance under the binding settlement agreement resolving all claims in the above-captioned actions,” reads the joint request seen by Sudan Tribune.
“The parties propose to further update the Court on the status of the settlement agreement no later than Friday, April 3, 2020, and respectfully request that the Court continue the stay of all proceedings and deadlines in these actions through that date”.
No details have transpired about the reasons for the delay.
However, Sudanese government which is actually facing huge economic challenges might be not able to honour its commitments to the relatives of the victims.
Trump administration, following calls of the victims and their families, says it will not remove Sudan from the blacklist of terror states unless Khartoum pays compensations to the victims.
The Associated Press last February reported that Sudan, in fact, would pay $70 million
“Adam Hall, a lawyer for the families of the victims, said Sudan would provide $70 million to be split among families of the 17 people killed as well as 15 sailors who were injured in the attack. That money is on top of $14 million that was awarded in an earlier case.
Hall added that $30.6 million is dedicated to the families of the dead and $39.4 million goes to those who were injured.
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