Sudan Bows to Pressure in Compensating Kenyan Bomb Victims

  • The Government of Sudan on December 9, 2019, promised to compensate victims of the 1998 US Embassy bombing in Nairobi.

    Speaking to Wall Street Journal, Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok confirmed that his government would make the payments in the weeks to come.

    “We took corporate responsibility on addressing these claims and reaching an agreement on them.

    “A settlement with Kenyan and Tanzanian survivors of some of those killed in the attacks will be reached. Definitely in weeks, not months,”  the prime minister remarked.

    Margaret Achieng Jow prays during the 20th Commemoration of August 7th, 1998 Bombing of the US Embassy in Nairobi, on August 07, 2018 at August 7th Memorial Park. Her daughter Doreen Aluoch Jow died in the incident.

    According to a report by People Daily, the compensation targets to cover 570 victims and relatives of former employees at the Kenya and Tanzania US embassies, with a compensation lump sum amounting to Ksh608 billion.

    The sum may also rise by an extra Ksh400 billion shillings if the US Supreme Court rules in favour of the victims who pressed charges demanding more compensation.

    While making the first ruling on July 2017, Judge Douglas Ginsburg ruled that Sudan was liable for the crimes that occurred in Kenya and Tanzania, and recommended the punitive measures.

    “Osama bin Laden lived in Sudan until the government kicked him out in 1996. The court took the side of expert witnesses that said the country continued to fund the terrorist group Al Qaeda, which carried out the attacks that killed 200 people — including 12 Americans,” read the ruling.

    Former US president Barrack Obama lays a wreath at the site of the 1998 US embassy bombing in Nairobi on July 2015

    However, the victims' lawyers, led by Gavrielle Mairone, requested the US to ensure the compensation is hastened, claiming that Sudan may delay.

    "The road forward requires the Government of Sudan to demonstrate its commitment to international norms through deeds, and not merely aspirational words," wrote the lawyer as quoted by BBC.

    The US Embassy bombings in Nairobi took place on August 7, 1998, leading to the death of 224 people, while over 550 others were injured. 

    On the same day, an attack on the US Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania was carried out, leading to the death of 10 people.