Home | News    Sunday 19 February 2012

Sudan formally notified by US on debt relief plan & Abyei proposal


February 18, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese minister of finance and national economy Ali Mahmood confirmed that Khartoum received a formal notification from the United States (US) on its proposal submitted as part of the 2013 budget to cancel all of the country’s $2.4 billion debt.

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Sudan’s Finance and National Economy Minister Ali Mahmood (AFP)

This week, US President Barrack Obama submitted his 2013 budget proposal to Congress which included an allocation for debt relief if Sudan fulfils conditions including full implementation of 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and adhering to legislative requirements on human rights and fighting terrorism.

But the Sudanese official speaking at a forum in Khartoum said that these conditions are "tough" particularly with regards to border demarcation between north and South Sudan which he said will take a long time, as well as resolving the “complicated” impasse over Abyei.

He also revealed that China has extended the maturity of its debt to Sudan for another five years upon Khartoum’s request.

Mahmood complained that Sudan pays $600 million in debt repayments to Arab sovereign funds which he said is a tiny fraction of the $37 billion in overall external debts with interest.

He nonetheless said that Sudan exported 7.2 tonnes of gold at the price of $55 million per ton.

Since the oil rich South seceded last July, Sudan lost its main foreign currency source causing a steep drop in the exchange rate of the Sudanese pound against the major currencies. At one point the dollar traded for 5.2 Sudanese pounds which is almost twice the official rate of 2.7 Sudanese pounds.

Sudan and South Sudan have yet to agree on splitting up the national debt. Southern Sudanese officials have in the past said that they will not accept a share in the country’s foreign debts, stressing that the money was borrowed to finance the northern army to fight Southerners in the civil war.

Most of Sudan’s debt dates back to the days of president Ja’afar Nimeiri. It grew from $9 billion in 1985 to approximately $38 billion. The majority of it is owed to the Arab Gulf States of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

So far Sudan’s efforts to have the debt cancelled has met little success amid a world economic crisis and western countries attaching political conditions to debt relief.


Mahmood also disclosed that the government received a letter from US special envoy to Sudan, Princeton Lyman, saying that Washington asked the government of South Sudan to agree to conducting the long delayed referendum in Abyei next August, when the Arab Misseriya nomads are in the area.

Residents of the border region of Abyei were supposed to vote more than a year ago in a plebiscite on whether they want to be with the north or join what is now the independent state of South Sudan. However the disagreement between Khartoum and Juba on who is eligible to vote led to the suspension of the process.

The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), that governs South Sudan assert that only the Southern-aligned Dinka Ngok should be allowed to vote, while the Khartoum-based National Congress Party (NCP) have insisted that the nomadic Misseriya group, who enter the region for a few months each year to find grazing land for their cattle, should also be given full voting rights.

Mahmood said he will meet with a visiting US official today in Khartoum.


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  • 19 February 2012 08:13, by Dinka Dominated SPLA/M

    the country’s foreign debts money was borrowed to finance the northern army and nuer militias to fight southerners in the civil war.

    maybe Dr Riek Puot Nyuon and Dr Lam Akol pluse other nyagat polino matip nhial will pay some of them since they were part of of khartoum gangster systems,

    repondre message

    • 19 February 2012 08:34, by Ayuen deng

      You are out of point?we all know that but it is a by gone history.Northern Sudan shuold co-operate with USA or lost all for not co-operating.

      repondre message

      • 20 February 2012 01:34, by panom lualbil

        To ayuen deng
        Saying ’by gone’ of murmor, so why do they notified them 2day son of low-profile parents. Cook your mind before saying something,bastard sissy ass, and dick sucker. As your brother or uncle REIK stranded his legs between North and South but this time is a time for BASHIIR to insert bills right there it come out of mouth. Your greedy uncle gota throw up like a dog dude.

        repondre message

    • 19 February 2012 08:55, by akid malual

      Misseriya Arab nomadic are Move into Abyei land in a few time by gazing there camel.how could immigrate be eligible to vote on the land while is not a citizen yet in that territory. In the Country such as American. illegal immigrate are always deport to place as Mexican. Misseriya have no right to vote in Abyei.

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    • 19 February 2012 09:50, by Aliminia

      subject to sudan not only debts to be relief,but for a short term the can Agreed,and after its debts is relief the might change theirs mind, khartoum are like fox,the will never Agreed on any peacefully co.operation unless the regime will be change in Khartoum, that will allow sudan and south sudan to be in harmony,therefore,both counties will aachieved comprehesive and lasting stablity

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    • 19 February 2012 10:02, by Aliminia

      subject to Khartoum regime not only a debts should be relief but U.S.A should study A khartoum character as well,the might agreed to day but tommorrow the may change their mind, khartoum may meet conditions but after the achieved what the wanted the might dishonest its later,for instance the signed Abyei protocal and invaded afterwards.

      repondre message

    • 20 February 2012 01:04, by panom lualbil

      To dinka dominate spla/m
      I appreciate your knowing the truth, homeboy. That’s what it’s. RIEK was recently telling his coworkers to report their sources of incomes while unaware when he worked for BASHIIR. Man! By RIEK rising such a guestion, he really cant sympathies.

      repondre message

    • 20 February 2012 06:52, by okucu pa lotinokwan

      Nomad to vote for the Abyei Referendum,while most of these nomads were brought from Chad,Nigeria CAR,not possible for them to vote

      repondre message

  • 19 February 2012 08:16, by NGAANGOLTIIN

    Abyei cannot be free except by the use of AK47 AND SAM 7.
    A war cannot be avoided unless you ’rioc’ Jur Mathiang

    repondre message

  • 19 February 2012 08:38, by Bauer

    Speaking on the issue of Abyei, these so called African Arabs in Khartoum know it very well that the dinka Ngok are the main inhabitants of the land.By saying the Misseriya should be given full rights to vote, it violates laws of the electoral commission of South Sudan particularly about citizens voting only.

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  • 19 February 2012 08:41, by George Bol

    Abyei epienyda and Abyei epiny Junub. Abyei is ourland. It belong to south Sudan. It’s Dinka land. period! anything is pinyamok!

    repondre message

  • 19 February 2012 08:43, by Bauer

    Coming to think of it, the Misseriya are nomads, they come only seasonally to graze their cattle.I don’t see any point in them voting given the fact that they are not inhabitants of Abyei by nature.RSS, should never allow them to participate, they are only visitors in Abyei.My friend who is talking about AK47, enough blood has been shed already, its referendum, dialogue and peace shall prevail!!

    repondre message

  • 19 February 2012 13:16, by Eastern

    It is preposterous for Khartoum to expect Juba to help it in sharing the national debt burden and yet it continues to deny the latter the use of national assets like the oil pipe line, port and a host of other national assets. Has Juba been given its shares in these national assets. It does not make sense at all to expect Juba to be liable to debts and not enjoy assets. Let South Sudan sue Khartoum to get its share in all national assets of the former Sudan republic. Even Sudan missions overseas should be attached by South Sudan to get their shares short of that Sudan should entirely bear the 38bn debt burden!!!!

    repondre message

  • 19 February 2012 20:24, by morogot batal



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  • 20 February 2012 02:25, by panom lualbil

    I am very surprise if USA financed khartum during our fight. It was seemed to me like the USA was working for fairness of both and particular south. But anyway, the were seriously involved in cpa and we won.

    repondre message

  • 20 February 2012 05:47, by acuil deng

    Abyei has always been the land of Dinka-Nyok long before the Arabs set foot in Sudan. And clearly, if you’re nomadic you’re constantly on the move, which doesn’t entitle you to any land you just forget about the referendum altogether.

    repondre message

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