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Sudan-Chad railway funds secured

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by Toby Collins

July 31, 2011 (LONDON) - The Secretary of Sudanese-Chadian Twinning Secretariat travelled to China on Saturday to sign a contract with a bank to borrow the funds to build a railway between Sudan and land-locked Chad.

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Train to Wau, Sudan (MIME)

Secretary Hassan Bargo said the new line will travel from Nyala into Chad.

Nyala is the capital of South Darfur State and the current terminus for the west Sudan leg of the rail network.

The dilapidated network connects Khartoum to Wadi Halfa on the northern border with Egypt, Wau in South Sudan and Port Sudan on the east coast.

With 5,000km of track, Sudan has one of Africa’s largest rail networks. However, 73 per cent of it is more than 80 years old and poorly maintained. As well as the freight trains, there are infrequent and irregular passenger services.

During the Islamic Summit Conference organised by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in Senegal on 14 March 2008 a committee was established to implement the Port Sudan-Dakar Railway Line. This would connect Sudan, Chad, Niger, Nigeria, Mali, Burkino Faso, Senegal and possibly Djibouti.

On 14 March Chad signed a US$7 billion contract with the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation which is scheduled to begin work on a railway line connecting it to Cameroon and Sudan in 2012.

In November the President of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir reiterated his support for renovating and developing the Sudanese rail network.

It was reported in 2007 that Sudan signed a US$1.5 billion contract with China Railway Engineering Group Co Ltd and China Railway Erju Co Ltd to build a new line between Khartoum and Port Sudan.

The track running to Wau was re-opened in 2010 after a World Bank funded renovation project.

The decline of the rail network began after the economic boom of the 1960s – 70s. It was compounded by the Sudanese government’s dismissal of rail staff in the 1990s; their trade unions were strong and politically active.

Bashir recently announced at a set of austerity measures. With the secession of South Sudan, Khartoum has lost the majority of its oil fields and therefore a significant proportion its revenue. It is estimated that North Sudan is $38 billion in debt.

In this year’s failed state index Chad and Sudan held the positions of second and third respectively. Improving the regional trade infrastructure along the route, well-trodden by nomads and Muslims on their way to Mecca, could bring much needed revenue... if the rhetoric is to be believed.

(ST)

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  • 1 August 2011 09:16, by Aleu

    Let them do it, there is nothing the reailway road network will contribute to economic between Chad and North Sudan.

    Chad has been depending on the Western nations for many years but when the indictment persuasived them poorly and guilty for killing innocents people then, the Chad nation clearly, turned against Western nations and this is why the Chadian president had the warm welcome Omar al Bashir and ignore their membership from the International law.

    Chadian president was thinking the oil rich in the Sudan will help them since her country Chad was too extremely poor unfortunately, the shape of Sudan and its rich of oils has change dramatical on July9,2011 and 10 years later the money in North Sudan will started dry very qick and North Sudan will begun begging those Western nations which they hate them most. The question is that, how long that friendship will last between indictment Omar al Bashir and them.?

    Mummar al Giddfa said, if we allow the separation of South Sudan then, it will exposed others countries in all Africa nations but now look like he is the one who would bring that disases and will affect Omar al Bashir and the rest of dictatorship leaders in Africa world. Who knows if Omar al Bashir gone tomorrow the Chaidan president would probably follow. We are very interesting to see how Omar al Bashir will last and their friendship with poor nation Chad.

    repondre message

  • 9 August 2011 11:21, by Aziz

    SPLA in Juba and SPLA in South Kordofan We talk about Sudanese troops as if they were an army in North Ireland and Cyprus overlooking the fact that we are originally one people who are politically divided but spiritually and emotionally bound .
    85 % replied no in a survey of Sudan tribune Newspaper that South Sudan should join the Arab league. That is indicator that many Sudanese In The North still cherish the hope of Unity .
    We support our friends in Sudan even if there is no oil. I think that is the message the Chinese express through their joint projects with Sudanese government to their jealous European allies that tried to create political instability where ever they invest and enjoy concessions . However, the Chinese are still in Sudan even after Khartoum lost most of it is oil fields in the South OF Sudan .
    There is an old Arab saying: seek knowledge in places as far as China . China it self is travelling to bring home for the mankind the knowledge that builds roads, bridges and the most recent example of cooperation is providing funds to build rail way from Nyala to Chad . The rail line in Chad connects it with Cameroon and links Sudan through Port-Sudan with Niger, Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Senegal .
    Such a giant scheme does not only contribute to improvement of border –trade infrastructure but also maintain the regional peace and stability .
    Moreover, it will re-instate many of dismissed rail staff for political reasons and the rail network regain it is vitality .
    Finally , the line enable my country to pay it is overdue debts , export other valuable materials from it is diverse resources.
    Chinese are very peaceful and useful friends to us in Sudan and we cannot thank them enough.

    repondre message

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