9 NATION & WORLD FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2020 | THE BALTIMORE SUN Sudan seeks a new start with USS Cole settlement $70M agreement seen as step toward leaving terror list By Noha Elhennawy Associated Press CAIRO — Sudan’s transitional government said Thursday it has reached a settlement with families of the victims of the 2000 attack on the USS Cole in Yemen, a key step in having the U.S. remove Sudan from its list of state sponsors of terrorism so it can rejoin the international community after years of exclusion. Copies of the agreements obtained by The Associated Press show that $70 million will be split among families of 17 people killed, as well as 15 sailors who were injured and two of their spouses. In the agreement, Sudan makes no admission of wrongdoing. The announcement was the latest in a series of efforts by the interim government to close the book on former President Omar al-Bashir, whose three decades of ironfisted rule was brought to an end in popular protests last year. Al-Bashir’s Islamist government promoted policies that ensured Sudan remained a pariah to much of the world. The International Criminal Court has accused him of genocide for his leadership of a scorched-earth campaign in the southern area of Darfur in response to a rebel insurgency there. Up to 300,000 people were killed and 2.7 million were driven from their homes. But in recent weeks the transitional government has sought to erase remnants of al-Bashir’s rule so it can heal the country’s battered economy. On Tuesday, it said it would hand him and other Sudanese officials over to the court in The Hague to be tried for war crimes. Settling the case of the USS Cole would be another big move in Sudan’s rehabilitation. On Oct. 12, 2000, two suicide bombers in a boat detonated their explosives alongside the USS Cole as the U.S. Navy destroyer was refueling in the Yemeni port of Aden. The blast killed 17 sailors and wounded more than three dozen others. Sudan was accused of providing support to al-Qaida, which claimed responsibility for the attack. Under al-Bashir, the country was designated by Washington as a “state sponsor of terror” for hosting the group’s leader, Osama bin Laden, in the early years of his militant movement. Observers and Sudanese officials have said the settlement was among the last hurdles faced by Sudan on its path to being removed from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism. Sudan’s Justice Ministry said the agreement was signed with the victims’ families Feb. 7. Faisal Saleh, Sudan’s information minister and interim government spokesman, told the AP that Justice Minister NasrEddin Abdul-Bari had traveled to Washington to sign the deal. He said the figures could not be disclosed because the Sudanese government is still in negotiations to reach settlements with families of victims of the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. More than 200 people were killed and more than 1,000 were wounded in those attacks. But Adam Hall, a lawyer for the families of the victims, said it 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. He said $30.6 million is dedicated to the families of the dead and $39.4 million goes to those who were injured. He and the families have been pursuing the case for more than 15 years, Hall said. “Sudan was finally of the view that it was willing to resolve these cases,” he said. “There is a huge difference between getting a judgment you may never collect and actually receiving a substantial amount of money. The fact that we are actually collecting just makes me so happy for the families,” he said. The new Sudanese rulers maintain they are not responsible for the attack on the USS Cole and that they had negotiated the deal out of their desire “to resolve old terror claims inherited from the ousted regime” of al-Bashir. The families of the dead and the wounded sailors had sued the Sudanese government in U.S. courts, demanding compensation for the country’s role in supporting al-Qaida. In 2012, a federal judge issued a judgment of nearly $315 million against Sudan, but the U.S. Supreme Court overturned that ruling in March 2019 on the grounds that Sudan had not been properly notified of the lawsuit. The U.S. has been looking at whether to remove Sudan’s terror designation “for quite some time,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters Thursday, but he didn’t offer any indication over when such a change to its status could take place. Pompeo said the settlement for USS Cole victims was one of the outstanding issues. Saleh also told the AP that the U.S. administration has set the overhaul of the country’s security apparatus as another condition to remove Sudan from the terror list. DEATH / LODGE NOTICES DEATH / LODGE NOTICES MccalluM, Menyon Newton seegull, ezr l v Menyon Newton McCallum, 97, of Turner Station passed away on Feb. 8, 2020. On February 12, 2020, Ezra Lev Seegull, of Baltimore, MD, passed away at the age of 19. Born in Baltimore, Ezra attended Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School, and would go on to attend the business school at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. At Michigan, he participated in the Outdoors Adventure Club and rock climbing. Also he was involved in Hillel and took a leadership position in its outdoors group. Additionally, he was involved in marketing and consulting groups. His primary interests were politics, mock trial, rock climbing, and comedy, but he particularly enjoyed spending time with his family. Ezra had a wonderful sense of humor and always embraced the outdoors. He was insightful and quick-witted, and always loved puns and debating. He is survived by his parents, Larry and Diane Seegull, a sibling, Ronen Seegull, grandparents, Linda and Edwin Seegull, Viviane Cohen, and Albert Lichaa, his aunts and uncles, Dina, David, Eileen, and Ethan, and cousins, Brandon, Logan, Naomi, and Aliza. Services at SOL LEVINSON & BROS., INC., 8900 Reisterstown Road, at Mount Wilson Lane on Friday, February 14, at 12 pm. Interment Beth Tfiloh Cemetery - 5800 Windsor Mill Road. Please omit flowers. Contributions in his memory may be sent to Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School, 3300 Old Court Road, Baltimore, MD 21208. In mourning at 11226 Appaloosa Dr., Reisterstown, MD 21136, through Wednesday evening. www.sollevinson.com A funeral service will be held on Feb. 14 at Saint Matthew Church, 101 Avon Beach Road, Baltimore, Maryland, 21222. The wake is at 10:30 am and the funeral service will begin at 11 a.m. RichaRds, c ro Carole Ann Richards (nee Burton), 64, of Orlando, Florida passed away of heart disease on January 28, 2020. The daughter of the late Robert Burton Sr. and Joan Weitzel (nee Johnson) was born in Baltimore, MD. Carole is survived by her mother Joan, her husband of twentythree years Ronald Richards; her sons Timothy Butler and Justin Butler and her daughterin-law Jessica; grandson Elias; three siblings, Bonnie and her husband Keith Dubbs, Robert and his wife Suzanne Burton, and Linda and her husband Manny Papadimitriou, as well as a number of nieces, nephews, cousins, and three canine children. She is preceded in death by her father Robert Burton, brother Audie Burton, and stepfather Jack Weitzel. Carole was an excellent baker and made the best peanut butter eggs. She was known for her kindness, patriotism, baking, and devout faith. Family and friends will be received at 2pm with a time of prayer and remembrance starting at 3pm on February 22nd at Centre Methodist Church 2409 Rocks Rd Forest Hill, MD 21050. Following the service, a celebration of life will be held in the Centre Methodist Church hall. In lieu of flowers, donations to the SeaWorld Conservation Fund in memory of Carole Richards would be greatly appreciated. Wilner, W am William Wilner, of Pikesville, MD, passed away on Feb. 13, 2020, at the age of 87. He is survived by his loving cousins, Judge Alan Wilner, Janie Noelte, Gary Wilner, Joyce Grand, Wendy Brandoff and Ed Gofreed. He was predeceased by his parents, Sylvia and Maurice Wilner. He was retired from the Baltimore City Dept. of Public Works, where he worked as a chemist in the Back River Waste Water Treatment Plant. He was an avid backgammon player and will be missed in the backgammon community. Funeral services and interment will be held at Shaarei Tfiloh Cemetery - 5800 Windsor Mill Road on Sunday, February 16, at 2 pm. Please omit flowers. Contributions in his memory may be sent to the charity of your choice. The family will be receiving at 2132 Western Run Drive, Baltimore, MD 21209, Sunday only, following interment. Sardella, louis M. On January 21, 2020, Louis M. “Lou” Sardella, 73, of Baltimore, MD and Crystal Bay, NV; son of the late Gaetano “Guy” and Maria (nee DeLeonardis) Sardella, and brother of the late Lavinia “Vina” Sardella. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 22, from 1 to 4 pm at Hayfields Country Club, Hunt Valley, MD. A graveside interment will be held later this spring. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Johns Hopkins Hospital or to the Make a Wish Foundation. www.sollevinson.com
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