France to cancel Sudan’s debt and help clear IMF arrears
France announced the cancellation of the debt of 5 billion dollars and the allocation of an additional 1.5 billion dollars in arrears to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to relieve Sudan, under the weight of the external debt.
“We are one of the major creditors … and we support the cancellation of the entire $ 5 billion debt that Sudan owes us. It is a real sense of our support in the transition. France will do everything in its power to reduce your external debt,
“President Emmanuel Macron announced at a press conference, to which he addressed jointly with the President of the Sovereignty Council of Sudan, Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, and Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok in Paris.
The measures to help Sudan were decided at an international conference to support Khartoum’s transition.
The IMF is expected to start the process by June and the UK, US, Norway and Saudi Arabia have also agreed to help clear the rest of the arrears, the French president said.
Hamdok described the announcement as a “milestone” in Sudan’s transition. He noted that the clearance of debt with the IMF was the major change signaling Khartoum’s return to the development community.
“With this, the government will be able to create jobs and meet the aspirations of young Sudanese who took to the streets two years ago,” he said.
Last year, the transitional government launched important economic reforms, including arrears clearance and exchange rate unification, necessary to receive debt relief under the IMF initiative. in favor of heavily indebted poor countries (HIPCs).
The HIPC Initiative assessment helped major creditors cancel most of Sudan’s external debt estimated at $ 49.8 billion.
Macron praised the “courageous economic reforms” as well as the political and democratic decisions reaffirming the transition. He said the signing of the peace agreement in October 2020 and the removal of Sudan from the list of terrorist sponsorship states in December by the United States had helped the international community rally in support of the African country.
Reintegration of Sudan
The French president said it helped mark Sudan’s reintegration after nearly 30 years of international isolation.
Macron called the Sudanese revolution “unusual” because of the role played by women.
“He ended, for the first time in the region, the regime using political Islam to cover up its mistakes and divide its people. The Sudanese have shown whether Muslim aspirations for freedom and justice are strong and that they cannot be enslaved, ”he said, reaffirming France’s full support for the success of the process of transition.
The French president said that moving forward there must be “free and transparent elections leading to the installation of legitimate civilian government” and the implementation of the peace agreement.
He said the withdrawal of the militias from Libya was necessary for the security of the region and the countries of the northern Mediterranean as well as for France.
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