February 22, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese legislative assembly on Wednesday downplayed the impact of the economic sanctions imposed by the United States saying that many countries have been able to overcome it.
The parliament deputy speaker Hagu Gism al-Sid said the country has been under sanctions since the 80’s without a real effect emphasising that Sudan will prevail in the end, referring to the experiences of China and Iran.
Al-Sid further said that Sudan rejects conditions put by the US in return for forgiving Sudan’s $2.4 billion debt.
This month US president Barack Obama submitted a debt relief proposal for Sudan to Congress as part of his 2013 budget. But for Sudan to take advantage of the offer it must follow through on all remaining items of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) particularly with regard to post-secession negotiations with South Sudan.
Khartoum must also satisfy US Congress requirements including upholding human rights and fighting terrorism.
Sudan is in desperate need of debt relief amid a growing economic crisis that resulted primarily from the secession of the oil-rich south last July which resulted in sharp decline in revenue, shortage of hard currency and rising inflation that was compounded by the deterioration of the exchange rate versus major currencies.
Last week Sudan’s finance minister said that the country pays $600 million in debt repayments to Arab sovereign funds which he said is a tiny fraction of $37 billion in overall external debt with interests.
Al-Sid said they received some help from friendly nations but noted that most of it will be used for development projects and a small part for improving the balance of trade and halting the slipping of the Sudanese pound.
He also said that the rise in prices is an international phenomena that is not limited to Sudan.