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Obama’s 2013 budget includes $2.4 billion in possible debt relief to Sudan & aid to S. Sudan

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February 13, 2012 (WASHINGTON) – The United States (US) President Barrack Obama’s 2013 budget proposal, released on Monday incorporated the possibility of relieving Sudan’s entire debt owed to it if certain conditions are met.

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U.S. President Barack Obama speaks to students about his 2013 budget at the Northern Virginia Community College February 13, 2012 in Annandale, Virginia (AFP)

“The FY 2013 budget includes $250 million for the debt restructuring account to meet potential U.S. bilateral debt relief commitments under the Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) framework,” read the U.S. Department of State appendix attached to the 2013 budget.

“Specifically, Treasury anticipates that Sudan could become eligible and reach HIPC decision point in FY 2013”.

The Sudanese government has been intensively pressing the international community to have its external debt cancelled as a reward for letting South Sudan secede peacefully last July after recognising the referendum results conducted in early 2011.

But many countries, particularly in the western world, want Khartoum to make progress on post-secession issues and resolving separate conflicts in Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan.

Sudan’s sense of urgency on the debt issue is compounded by the loss of 75% of the country’s oil reserves that existed when the South was part of the country.

“The $250 million request reflects the estimated budget cost for forgiving 100 percent of Sudan’s outstanding debt to the United States (currently $2.4 billion)”, Obama said in his annual budget message to Congress.

However, the US administration reiterated that conditions remain attached to any debt cancellation given to Sudan.

“Prior to obligating funds for HIPC treatment of Sudan’s debt, the US will require progress on various fronts that we have identified as pre-conditions for any US support for debt relief, including fulfilment of the agreement reached by the governments of Sudan and South Sudan under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement”.

“The obligation of funds will also depend on Sudan’s ability to meet current legislative requirements tied to HIPC debt relief including determinations on human rights and state sponsorship of terrorism”.

Should Sudan not satisfy the requirements, the US Treasury requested that Congress approve “transfer authority that would enable the Department to use these funds to help meet other international commitments if it is determined that Sudan is not likely to reach HIPC decision point by the end of FY 2014”.

Last year, the US Assistant Secretary of African Affairs Johnnie Carson said that debt relief is not a simple procedure and will require extensive work.

Carson stated that the first step to tackle this matter is for the north and South to agree on how to allocate the external debt among them “then complex international contacts will commence” adding that this will take years.

Most of Sudan’s debt dates back to the days of late president Ga’afar Nimeiri. It grew from $9 billion in 1985 to $37.8 billion. The majority of it is owed to the Arab Gulf States of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

SOUTH SUDAN AID

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A copy of US President Barrack Obama’s FY2013 Budget after it was delivered to Congress February 13, 2012 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC (AFP)

In the proposed budget, South Sudan will benefit from $2.7 billion allocated “to help strengthen and stabilise developing countries and countries in transition from conflict”.

“This includes investing in building governing capacity, reform, and conflict mitigation in recently independent South Sudan”.

The funding will specifically be used to “increase agricultural productivity, expand educational opportunities especially for girls, strengthen democratic institutions and the rule of law, and enhance the capacity of the Federal Legislative Assembly to conduct oversight over government revenues and expenditures”.

But as with Sudan, the aid is contingent upon good governance practices by Juba.

The US Secretary of State will be required to report to Congress detailing the extent by which South Sudan government is “supporting freedom of expression, the establishment of democratic institutions including an independent judiciary, parliament, and security forces that are accountable to civilian authority” and “investigating and punishing members of security forces who have violated human rights”.

Furthermore, the US will seek to obtain “regular audits of the financial accounts of the Government of South Sudan to ensure transparency and accountability of funds, including revenues from the extraction of oil and gas, and the timely, public disclosure of such audits”.

The US Secretary of State shall avail technical help to Juba in conducting such audits “by providing technical assistance to enhance the capacity of the National Auditor Chamber to carry out its responsibilities, and shall submit a report....detailing the steps that will be taken by the Government of South Sudan, which are additional to those taken in the previous fiscal year, to improve resource management and ensure transparency and accountability of funds”.

Corruption and mismanagement is believed to be rampant in the newborn state formed last July that is struggling to build credible institutions.

Last month, South Sudan’s parliament deliberated on ways to address corruption after the Public Accounts Committee presented its work finding that over $1 billion was unaccounted for over the years.

(ST)

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  • 14 February 2012 06:56, by peace seeker

    (The United States President Barack Obama’s 2013 budget proposal, released on Monday incorporated the possibility of relieving Sudan’s entire debt owed to it if certain conditions are met.)
    Utter lie.We in the north will not count any more on such claims.

    repondre message

    • 14 February 2012 07:00, by Darkangel

      You are right, they keep playing this game. They think because Khartoum was tricked once to sign the CPA, second time to allow the referendum and secession, that it would be fooled again to allow the Americans to interfere in Darfur, S.K and Blue-Nile.

      Dangle all the carrots you want Obama, its not going to work !

      Like idiot Bush said.. fool me once, fool me twice .. fool you ! Haha

      repondre message

      • 14 February 2012 07:21, by okucu pa lotinokwan

        Khartoum the conditions given to you by US President Obama,is your chose or you will get fire which can not help you darkged,worst of it Obama is going out this year and the Republican is coming in where it will be very hot really for you Khartoum to exist with NCP rule,since you know how Republican do adress foreign issues.

        OKUCU PA LOTINOKWAN

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        • 14 February 2012 13:00, by P.K.M

          Khartoum use to have fun with more than $ 10 billion annual revenue from South Sudan oil, a single billion or more from U.S.A aid is just a drop of water to their tongue.

          Do your calculation when they use to produce half a million barrels per day at $ 90.00 per barrel, just an average price.

          Their survivable without that much money is not going to be a walk in the park!

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      • 16 February 2012 12:44, by Paul Ongee

        Peace seeker,are you still seeking peace with Darfur, SK, BN and Beja Congress to be bailed out?
        Darkangel,the angel is really dark to be bailed out.
        SSLA/M Supporter,enjoy your slavery in Khartoum but remember coming back to your root at the end of the day.
        Joseph Gatkuoth,never waste your time supporting National Criminal Party who denies freedom to Sudanese masses and relies on religious bigotr

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        • 16 February 2012 12:48, by Paul Ongee

          Wad balad is typical African not fake Arabs of Sudan who insist on identifying themselves with the Middle East regardless of color, complexion and competitive interpretation of Qoran.

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    • 14 February 2012 08:11, by Madina Tonj

      Now the Khartoum government are talking down seem to be cool after when they were being bailout by theirs Arabs in the Middle East. Well, along that bailout will last.? I guess the Khartoum government will be bailout maybe four times just like what happen to Greek when European tried many times but we will see along the bailout of Khartoum regime will last before the regime is falling.

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    • 14 February 2012 08:48, by John Garang Dau

      You are funny. Obama is trying to help the people of Sudan in any ways he possibly could. It is not a trick, change must come to Sudan if it has came to Egypt. We Sudanese no matter south, or north, need to forget about depending our weaknesses and accept the reality that our political system is mesup. Few individuals get richer time and time again and we don’t do nothing. We youth must act!

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    • 14 February 2012 12:51, by SSLA/M Supporter

      How could Obama possibly think of providing financial aid to the corrupt regime of SPLA/M mafia whose thugs are looting and wasting billions of dollars of oil money leaving 80% of population of South Sudan to starve to death? why wasting American tax-payers’ money to aid a rotton regime run by a collection of professional thieves that are looting ss public money in millions leaving people to die!

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      • 14 February 2012 13:10, by SSLA/M Supporter

        South Sudanese don’t need financial backing from US government because they won’t get it from SPLM thieves! The support we need now from Obama administration is put pressure on Kiir and SPLA/M thugs to stop wasting and looting SS public money and to return the stolen money from their abroad bank accounts in Europe, Australia, North America and eastern African countries! otherwise it’s a big waste!

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        • 14 February 2012 14:21, by Joseph Gatkuoth

          By Joseph Venom.Yes SSLA/
          M Supporter,this is not what we expected from president Obama to pledge more bulk aid of Dollars to this corrupt government in which small elites individuals will benefit from it rather than being smell by common men on street.what i should expectfrom Obama is to put more sanction on all officials and seeks change to ward democracy and of rule law. No thieve need help!

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        • 14 February 2012 16:52, by viper

          SSLA/M supporter U r right though u r a supporter of the devil whose colours r not known. Obama is not suppose to waste the US resources on this current gov’t under SPLM, but to order them only to bring back the stolen money to SS

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        • 14 February 2012 20:51, by John Garang Dau

          regardless of what the SPLA does, they are your government. what they need to know is that, the government of America is government for the, of the people and by the people. who is US to help sudanese? they are people like you and I, and if we stand for our selves government, we can also offer AID to Europe right now.

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  • 14 February 2012 06:57, by Darkangel

    Debt relief is a technical matter assessed by the HIPC framework - which sudan is entitled to. The IMF clearly states that the only thing standing in its way is the American political position. Unjust and unfair ! Good luck trying to get the GOSS to stop corruption, they dont even want to admit. Im sure their mouths are watering over that $2.7 Billion. No work, easy money !!

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    • 14 February 2012 08:05, by Xeno

      Yo dark-age,
      South sudan business is no yours sir. Leave us alone and worry about the looming doom on your faggot beshier. Why are you crying about debt right now when you knew you will be paying it back? what happens then? See how south sudan was important to you northerners. You were borrowing carelessly hoping southern oil is there to be used for debt payback. Well, it not there anymore.

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    • 14 February 2012 08:12, by Xeno

      Dark-age

      The only option left for you and beshit is to give back those russian and chinese jet fighters, copters, and tanks or kiss our $$$$. No more southern money to be stolen anymore as debt reliver

      repondre message

  • 14 February 2012 07:05, by Snipper

    American assistance is always on conditions. Sit with it guys! It makes sense if the white house holds Juba accountable and press it to promote governance but to come and audit the books of South Sudan, is an insult. That aid is rejected!

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    • 14 February 2012 16:01, by John

      Man, 1 billion has mysteriously gone from public fund!

      If you resist audit, I then need to ask how much is your share from that 1 billion?

      repondre message

  • 14 February 2012 08:49, by John

    Fair enough, auditing is a good way to ensure the aid will be used for public services, other than go to someone’s pocket.

    Interesting thing, although 1 billion has been reported missing, some people are still so protective, guess they also took a piece of the pie.

    repondre message

  • 14 February 2012 10:14, by wad balad

    Sudan should forget about US promises. Sudan should never go out of its way to fufill any conditions set by US. Time has only proven that the US will never keep it promises. I hope the goverment will now see it for wat it is and leave the path of seeking US help and removal of sanctions and what not. Sudan can do fine without it if we only focus on our own potential.

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    • 14 February 2012 10:32, by mohammed ali

      Who will trust the US? We Sudanese donnot!In the long run they are the loosers.What did the American do to us? Capacity building, conflict resolution, strengthen democratic institution..bla..bla..money which will be paid to their own people & we have to pay it back with interest rate!Compare this with China, buildin hydroelctric damps " one already finished 2 under construction, thousand of ..con

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      • 14 February 2012 10:39, by mohammed ali

        ..miles in highways, bridges, power stations, hospitals; this what really should be called "capacity building" Uncle Sam should forget about his old games and should realise that the world has changed alot.One day , uncle Sam will seek dept relief as America is most indept country in the world!

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        • 14 February 2012 15:25, by Ambago

          Mohammed Ali

          You see even the communists heathens are being humane to you without interfering with your faith.

          While you keep calling them "Kufaar" and "mulhideen", yet God has blessed them with knowledge, values and humanity more than you hypocrites can offer.

          Why not become a communist!

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  • 14 February 2012 14:57, by Sudan virus

    Welcome for South Sudan!

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  • 14 February 2012 21:19, by mosa mel

    US Obama try to beg Bashier but the more Obama beg Bashier the more he murder thousands sudanese. Bashier understand that Obama can do nothing to him but support him to kill more people. If Bush still in White House I am sure Sudan should be peaceful now than worse. If White House want to help Sudanese people, change NCP regime. That it all.

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  • 14 February 2012 22:41, by Anynya One

    See how rood Sudan’s president in pressing international community of its external debt used for buying Antinove for killing 2m South Sudanese all through 21 years of war, causing mysterious seafaring’s for the people of South Sudan. It self-determination we got, is our complete right from birth & no reward must be paid to basher. He basher got to get this debt paid as a punishment. Cont.

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  • 14 February 2012 22:46, by Anynya One

    Folks killing each other all the time! what do you think it is? Isn’t it a mental disturbs created from the culture of Arab’s tactics against Africans using every might from War to policies & strategies to make sure Africans should all be Arabis? Other tribes might last for some decades to finally recover in to a healthy reasonable and ordinary life style. Cont.

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  • 14 February 2012 22:55, by Anynya One

    Now that Bashir is trying to ask for a pay back by letting him go freely cancelling debt as a reward for letting South Sudanese secede peacefully? Who doesn’t believe Bashir is a vampire!? Isn’t Bashir a blood sucker, a real terrorist network? If so then why reward him after sucking 2m of people’s own blood Obama?

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  • 14 February 2012 23:04, by Anynya One

    Obama knows his ancestral new country is in a desperate need, trying to get out relieve it-salve from Bashir’s atrocities. And we voted for own self-determination ths all we need. You also know why this independence of the new born country happened in your time and has been paid for us as a precious gift of GOD by GOD; no doubt it needs your complete attention and protection.

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    • 15 February 2012 05:20, by 4Justice

      6 million barrels of oil confiscated, relentless aerial bombardments. How long is the spla going to put up with this kind of agression? complaing to the international community will yield nothing, you need anti aircraft missile systems, or perhaps you have eating all the money since 2005 in the hope that international community will shoot down those antenov aircraft for you?

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      • 15 February 2012 07:10, by 4Justice

        let’s spend all the cash (inclunding Salaries) on necessary Infrastructure Development Projects

        imagine State of the art municpal water treatment plants to deliver clean water to residents in all major cities Juba, Torit, Yambio, malakal,Wau, Awiel, Rumbek, Bentiu, Akobo, Pibor, kuajok if only the billions never disappeared into black hole.The construction of sewage plants and drainage systems

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        • 15 February 2012 07:13, by 4Justice

          in all cities will instantly eradicate almost all water borne diseases. Imagine the construction of Tarmac roads connecting yambio and juba, Akobo and Juba, linking Wau to Juba, Wau and Raja. Imagine a farmer in Yambio transports
          fresh Peanaple produce to Awiel on a Tarmac road in 2-3 hours time. Troops can be deployed to trouble hotspots in minutes thus saving many lives.

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          • 15 February 2012 07:14, by 4Justice

            A farmer in Renk can take his dura produce to nimule. Imagine Installing solar panels on all major hospitals.I know all this will fall on deaf ears

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          • 15 February 2012 07:19, by 4Justice

            fresh Pineapple not "peanaple"

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            • 15 February 2012 07:41, by 4Justice

              Imagine a mini modular oil refinery, I know a handful who can install the entire plant in just 4 Weeks.Total Project Cost – 6,000BPD and 3,000BPD including cost of Installation, Training, and Start-up $69.61 million.

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              • 15 February 2012 07:42, by 4Justice

                To raise the capacity to 12,000BPD with the additions of 6,000BPD Distillation Unit, 120,000 Barrels Tank Farm and 3MW Power Generators, the combined cost is estimated at $154.7 million.

                repondre message

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