Sudan, US-based Visa Inc enter into agreement for the first time

(Thessherald)–For the first time in decades, the Sudanese government and a Washington-based technology company, Visa Inc have entered into an agreement that will see the United States provide an electronic payment system in Sudan.

“We are working closely with select financial institutions in Sudan to progress the introduction of Visa payment solutions in the country,” said the company in a statement.

The step taken by the two countries is seen as a milestone toward rebuilding shaky diplomatic relations between the United States and Sudan.

“Visa is pleased to be building new partnerships that will bring the benefit of Visa’s world-class payment technology to help support financial inclusion and economic growth in Sudan” said the world’s largest payments technology company.

US urged to lift sanctions on Sudan

Authorities in Sudan have been pleading with the Trump administration to remove Sudan from its list of State Sponsors of Terrorism, noting such long-term sanctions have caused so much suffering to the Sudanese people as international companies are not allowed to do business in Sudan. .

Compensation demanded for a 1998-attack allegedly sponsored by Al-Bashiir’s former regime.

Scene after the Al Qaeda bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, which killed 213 people (August 7, 1998) (Photo: Not Known)

Last month, American victims filed a lawsuit from the US Supreme Court, demanding a huge sum of money of about $ 4.3 billion, in compensation for the heavy losses incurred during the terrorist attacks.

Resolution of the case is a key requirement for Sudan’s removal from the U.S. list of State Sponsors of Terrorism and part of its efforts to rejoin the international community following a grass-roots revolution in the country.

The petition was backed by the United States authorities. “This is important because it sends a strong signal to the people that the U.S. government hires all over the world – the staff of embassies – that your families are going to be protected if you’re killed or injured in service to the United States,” said Steven Perles, co-counsel for the plaintiff and one of the foremost litigators in holding foreign governments accountable for sponsoring terrorism.

Troika Envoys meet to discuss South Sudan peace process

Press statement,

President Salva Kiir Mayardit and opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar

February 8th, 2020 (Thessherald)-Norway, UK and US call upon the South Sudanese parties to demonstrate the political will needed to move the process forward.

On Thursday 6 February the three Troika Envoys for South Sudan met in London. The UK Special Representative for the Sudans, Bob Fairweather and the Norwegian Special Envoy Endre Stiansen were joined by the newly-appointed US Special Envoy for South Sudan Stuart Symington.

They discussed the status of the South Sudan peace process, two weeks from the scheduled formation of the transitional government. This critical deadline has now been delayed twice. In their discussions the Envoys emphasised the importance of beginning the transitional period on time and called on the South Sudanese parties to demonstrate the political will needed to move the process forward.
The Envoys welcomed the role the region has played in supporting the process, including recent efforts by South Africa. They were concerned that despite these efforts, the parties have been unable to make sufficient progress on the outstanding issues.
This lack of political will could derail the peace process and undermine the ceasefire, risking a return to violence at a time when the South Sudanese already face a devastating humanitarian crisis.

The Troika agreed that the imminent IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on Development) and African Union meetings in Addis Ababa may be the last chance to get the process back on track before the deadline. The parties to the agreement, including the incumbent Government, must be prepared to make compromises and agree a way forward on outstanding issues, to enable the formation of an inclusive transitional government.

Their people are watching, impatient to see the peace that their leaders have publicly committed to, but so far have been unwilling to deliver.

The Envoys shared their assessment of the remaining challenges, and discussed possible responses to the scenarios around the 22 February deadline. The Troika remain engaged, and will continue to work with the region for the sake of South Sudan, whose short history has been blighted by conflict, corruption and terrible violence.