By: Ahmed Alhaj (Site Admin)
Khartoum, (Sudanow) – The government has denied reports that President Omar Bashir has promised former US President, Jimmy Carter, northern Sudan would shoulder Sudan’s foreign debts in the event southerners choose to separate.
The Republican Palace has stressed in a statement that President Bashir actually said the debts should be dropped all together within the initiative of writing off debts of the least developed countries.
President Carter was quoted by an American satellite TV as saying that Bashir offered the North should shoulder all foreign debts and leave the south have a fresh start, upon secession.
Press Secretary for the President of the Republic, Imad Sidahmed, stressed that during the meeting between President Bashir and Carter last Saturday touched on a number of issues including Sudan’s foreign debts and that Bashir welcomed any efforts that are aimed at resolving the question of the debts.
Carter is in Sudan as part of a huge number of local, regional and international observers monitoring the referendum, carried out in fulfillment of an agreement the north and the south signed in 2005.
“The President has expressed his view that sharing the debts between the north and the south, upon separation, is useless as the annual revenues could not cover the debt services and therefore those debts should be written off, at once, under the initiative of Heavily Indebted Poor Countries HIPC,” the Secretary said in a statement carried by the Sudan News Agency (SUNA).
HIPC Initiative was launched in 1996 by the IMF and World Bank, with the aim of ensuring that no poor country faces a debt burden it cannot manage.
According to the World Bank, since then the international financial community, including multilateral organizations and governments have worked together to reduce to sustainable levels the external debt burdens of the most heavily indebted poor countries.
Bashir has stressed that the debts burden would be the responsibly of three sides including northern Sudan, southern Sudan and the international community.
The World Bank put Sudan’s debts at a whooping $35.7 billion at the end of 2009, with over US$30 billion in arrears. The external debts of the Sudan include arrears of US $ 600 million to the International Development Association and around US$ 1.6 billion to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The question of the debts comes at a critical moment when southern Sudanese are voting in a referendum to decide whether the country remains united and face such a challenge or fall apart and each side goes away with its debts and debt services.
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