Sudan: UK official says Darfur security situation shows 'remarkable development'

Khartoum, Sudan (PANA) - A UK diplomat says he has noticed a “remarkable development” in the security situation in Darfur, Sudan’s restive region since 2003.

British Permanent Foreign Under-Secretary Simon Macdonald says that he and a visiting UK diplomatic delegation have noticed a remarkable development on the ground in Darfur during a visit to Nyala, capital of South Darfur on Monday, the first day of their arrival in Sudan. The British delegation left immediately for Darfur on arrival in Sudan and returned to Khartoum on Tuesday.

The British official has not elaborated on the nature of this development, though the focus during the visit was on security. Sudan has said the situation has improved and that there is no longer any need for the UN peacekeeping force, known as UNAMID, in the region.

Sudan Foreign Ministry officials say they have discussed with a visiting United Kingdom delegation various issues, including foreign debts, joint cooperation, terrorism, illegal migration and efforts for peace in South Sudan.

According to the official Omdurman Radio on Wednesday, the discussions were made at a meeting in Khartoum on Tuesday co-chaired by Sudanese Foreign Under-Secretary Abdul Ghani al-Naeem and Mr Macdonald.

Naeem was quoted by the Radio as saying his side brought up the issue of foreign debts for discussion because the UK may use its influence to solve it.

Sudan’s foreign debts stood at over US$45 billion prior to the separation of South Sudan from Sudan and it was agreed that after South Sudan's independence, the two countries should share the burden of repayment.

The world community, including the UK, promised to assist the two sides in the repayment of the debts if Khartoum let go South Sudan, but five years after independence, the debt problem was still unresolved, Naeem said.

Sudan’s Undersecretary said Sudan and South Sudan had agreed previously that if no solution to the debt problem was reached, they would divide the debts between them.

He said it was also agreed at Tuesday's meeting that British companies would visit Sudan in the near future to explore the possibilities of investment, adding that they discussed the prospects of UK's contribution to the development process in Sudan.
-0- PANA MO/MA 11Jan2017

11 january 2017 12:19:32

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