US removes Sudan from the list of states supporting terrorism

US removes Sudan from the list of states supporting terrorism
The US removed Sudan’s state sponsor of terrorism designation, 27 years after putting the country on its blacklist. (FIle/AFP)
Short Url
Updated 15 December 2020

US removes Sudan from the list of states supporting terrorism

US removes Sudan from the list of states supporting terrorism
  • The move would open the door for Sudan to get international loans and aid needed to revive its economy

JEDDAH: The US on Monday removed Sudan from its blacklist of state sponsors of terrorism.
The move is a boost for the transitional authorities who took over after Omar Bashir was deposed as president last year. It follows Sudan’s normalization of ties with Israel in October, and opens the door to desperately needed international investment.
“We have been liberated from the global blockade which we were forced into by the behavior of the ousted regime,” Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said.
He said the delisting would “contribute to economic reforms, attract investments and remittances through official channels, create new job opportunities for young people, and many other positives.”
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said removing Sudan from the terror list had been “made possible by the efforts of Sudan’s civilian-led transitional government to chart a bold new course away from the legacy of the Bashir regime.”
The US listed Sudan in 1993 because the Bashir regime harbored militant groups including Al-Qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah. It cut Sudan off from financial assistance and investment, and from the global banking system.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Washington would now help Khartoum to seek financing from international lenders and negotiate relief on $60 billion in foreign debt.
Sudan also hopes to gain access to equipment and software for healthcare, energy, transport, education and infrastructure.
“This decision has given us hope that our circumstances could improve,” said Mohamed Hassan, 58, a private sector employee in Khartoum.


Israel extradites woman wanted for sex crimes to Australia

Israel extradites woman wanted for sex crimes to Australia
Updated 17 min 45 sec ago

Israel extradites woman wanted for sex crimes to Australia

Israel extradites woman wanted for sex crimes to Australia
  • Malka Leifer had been fighting extradition from Israel since 2014
  • She faces 74 charges of child sex abuse that she allegedly committed while teaching in Melbourne

JERUSALEM: Israeli authorities on Monday extradited a woman wanted on 74 charges of child sex abuse in Australia, following a six-year legal battle that had strained relations between the two governments.
Malka Leifer, a former teacher accused of sexually abusing several former students at a Jewish school in Melbourne, had been fighting extradition from Israel since 2014. Leifer maintains her innocence and the protracted court case and repeated delays over her extradition drew criticism from Australian officials as well as the country’s Jewish leaders.
Israeli media photographed Leifer boarding a plane at Ben Gurion Airport early Monday, her ankles and wrists shackled. Her lawyer, Nick Kaufman, confirmed the extradition.
The Hebrew-language news site Ynet reported that she boarded a flight to Frankfurt, where she would transfer to another flight bound for Australia.
Her departure was timed so that she left the country before Israel’s shutdown of the airport at midnight due to the country’s coronavirus outbreak.
In December, the Supreme Court rejected a final appeal against her extradition, and Israel’s justice minister signed the order to send her to Australia.
Leifer faces 74 charges of child sex abuse that she allegedly committed while teaching in Melbourne.
As accusations against her began surfacing in 2008, Israeli-born Leifer left the school and returned to Israel, where she has lived since.
Critics, including Leifer’s alleged victims, had accused Israeli authorities of dragging out the case for far too long, while Leifer claimed she was mentally unfit to stand trial.
Last year, an Israeli psychiatric panel determined Leifer was lying about her mental condition, setting in motion the extradition.
Avi Nissenkorn, Israel’s former justice minister who had signed the extradition order, wrote on Twitter: “I promised that I would not hinder the extradition order, and that’s what I have done. Malka Leifer’s victims will finally earn an act of justice.”
Manny Waks, head of Voice against Child Sex Abuse, an organization representing Leifer’s victims, said in a statement that “this is an incredible day for justice!”
“We can now truly look forward to Leifer facing justice in Australia on the 74 charges she is facing,” he said.