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Enforcement of Sudan’s security arrangements faces financial difficulties: minister

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Finance Minister Gibril Ibrahim speaking at Paris conference for Sudan on 17 May 2021 (STphoto)May 20, 2021 (PARIS) - The Sudanese Finance Minister said that there are serious obstacles facing the provision of funds to implement the Juba Peace Agreement (JPA), especially the implementation of the security arrangements.

"We were unable to provide the needed resources to implement the peace agreement at the required pace because the country is in a state of scarcity. Also, the international lockdown restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic hindered the holding of a donors conference as agreed in the JPA," said Gibril Ibrahim in an interview with the Sudan Tribune in Paris.

In line with the peace pact agreed in Juba in October 2020, the government and the armed groups have to enforce a long process aiming to integrate the former rebel combatants in the national army and to immediately form a Joint Protection Force to protect civilians and restore order in Darfur where tribal attacks continue to destabilise the region.

Ibrahim who also leads a signatory group, Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) acknowledged that the first year of the JPA implementation would face difficulty to secure all the sums the government has to allocate for the implementation process "especially the security arrangements, which require large sums of cash to meet the spending and commodities of the forces."

"The enforcement of the demobilization and reintegration programme will face a problem if there are no resources because the demobilized should be compensated," stressed the finance minister who was participating in an economic conference in Paris to support the democratic transition in Sudan.

He said the government will seek to increase revenues after settling bread and fuel shortages and then considering how to support peace implementation from the budget.

Under the JPA, the government of Sudan is committed to paying $750 million dollars annually, for a period of ten years, to fund rehabilitation and development projects in Darfur. Also, Khartoum has to finance the implementation of the peace agreement.

Development projects

However, the minister expressed optimism about allocating funds for the reconstruction of the war-affected areas.

He pointed out that some of the World Bank pledged $2 billion grant to Sudan will be used to delivering early peace dividends, including the provision of basic services such as building roads, water, schools, and hospitals.

"In addition some $300 million of $700 million pledged by the U.S. will be allocated to basic services and reconstruction projects," he said.

The minister further said that the UAE has pledged to establish roads, water and schools projects in support of the Juba Peace Agreement.

Also, Qatar renewed its commitment to implement development projects within the framework of an economic plan to support the Doha Peace Agreement in Darfur signed in 2011 with some groups, he added.

(ST)

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