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U.S. report underscores lack of transparency in Sudan’s military economic activities

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Military armoured vehicles and tanks at Sudan's Military Industry Corporation (MIC)'s stand at IDEX 2017 Show Dubai (ST file photo)jpgJune 25, 2021 (KHARTOUM) - The U.S. Fiscal Transparency Report for 2021 praised the Sudanese government for preparing budget documents according to international standards but blamed the lack of clarity in the economic activities of the Sudanese military.

In a report released on Friday, U.S. State Department released an assessment reviewing the transparency of the transitional government in Sudan led by Abdallah Hamdok during the first fiscal year 2020.

"The government made significant progress by publishing the budget within three months of enactment.? It also made significant progress by breaking down expenditures by the ministry and for the office of the president for the first time," reads the report.

The assessment said that the budget for the first time included information on debt obligations, adding that even if budget estimates deviated from budget execution, the government made significant progress by producing and publicly issuing revised budget estimates.

"However, budget documents were not substantially complete?because they did not include off-budget revenue from military-owned enterprises and military expenditures continue to be underreported and opaque," stressed the report.

The State Department further called to "establishing greater civilian oversight over military and intelligence budgets," saying it would improve Sudan’s fiscal transparency.

The Sudanese military resist calls by the government Abdallah Hamdok to limit their economic activities to the military industry, taking advantage of the fragility of his government but also the regional instability and the border dispute with Ethiopia.

(ST)

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