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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

France Pledges to Cancel Sudan’s $5 Billion Debt

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France vowed to wipe out Sudan’s $5 billion in debt at a Paris summit this week.

French President Emmanuel Macron said France would provide the African country with a $1.5 billion bridge loan to help the country clear its debt to the International Monetary Fund (IMF.)

“The reduction of Sudan’s debt that we are going to soon initiate is a first result of these reforms, and this trajectory … should be consolidated, both economically and politically,” Macron said.

Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok estimates total debt at $60 billion.

“France calls on all Sudan’s bilateral creditors, regardless of whether they are members of the Paris Club, to take part from June in a coordinated and equitable manner in the process to help lighten Sudan’s debt burden over the long term,” Macron adds.

The Paris Club is an informal group of 22 government creditors that includes the U.S., Japan, Brazil and Spain.

Germany also offered assistance. Its foreign minister tweeting that Berlin would waive debts of 360 million euros ($440 million). The Norway government also released a statement announcing plans to cancel Sudan’s debt.

“We are committed to contributing to making Sudan’s transition a success. In line with this we have taken the decision to cancel all bilateral debt, we are contributing to debt clearance under the IMF, and we aim to maintain a high level of aid,” a statement from Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide reads in part. “This will make Sudan a major recipient of Norwegian development assistance.”

Countries have flocked to assist Sunday following the 2019 ousting of longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir.

Al-Bashir rose to power in 1989 following an Islamist-backed military coup, which toppled the democratically elected government of Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi. For more than a decade, the International Criminal Court (ICC) sought him out for alleged war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity in Darfur. The war killed an estimated 300,000 people beginning in 2003.

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