This year the 19th Annual Sudans Prayer Summit would be hosted from August 5 to 7, 2021. The focus would be on prayer for both Sudan and South Sudan as we value both of these countries equally. The group would be open to the lead of the Holy Spirit throughout the prayer summit.
Prayer topics that would be focused on during the Sudans Prayer Summit, might include:
God’s economy, economy, and kingdom investment in the Sudans
Naliel, South Sudan
Frontline mission workers
Unreached peoples UPGs / UUPGs and so on
Alliances, networking and partnering
Training and discipleship
Sudanese in Diaspora
Prayer networks, movements & mobilization thereof
Support ministries & support initiatives.
Praying for Sudan as a nation
Praying for South Sudan as a nation
Various types of outreach in the Sudans, e.g. medical outreach & more.
July 25, 2021 (KHARTOUM) – Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok on Sunday, appointed as a political advisor in his cabinet Yasir Arman, Deputy Chairman of the SPLM-North led by Malik Agar.
In a series of decrees announced in Khartoum, Arman was appointed as political advisor to the Prime Minister, together with Aisha Hamad Mohamed as an advisor on gender affairs, Ali Juma Abdallah as an advisor on governance and institutional reform, and Hassan Nasrallah Ali Karrar as peace advisor.
The Prime Minister also relieved al-Tahir Abdel-Qayoum Ibrahim the National Auditor of the Republic of Sudan and assigned Fakhr al-Din Abdal-Rahman Ali an Interim General Auditor.
The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP)of Mohamed Osman Al-Mirghani welcomed Arman’s appointment as political advisor to the Prime Minister.
The appointment of Arman is “a positive sign if he is given a full mandate to manage the ’political affairs’) file and broad powers to move it forward,” said the DUP which was allied to the former regime.
After the signing of the Juba Peace Agreement, Arman declined to participate in the transitional government stressing he did not want executive positions to dedicate his time to the follow-up of peace implementation and democratic reforms in the country.
He is the only former rebel figure to be appointed outside the framework of the power-sharing deal with the former armed groups.
Arman has called for expanding the social base supporting the transitional government and dialogue with Islamic forces, except for the National Congress Party of Omer al-Bashir, saying they committed war crimes, grave human rights violations besides looting public funds.
Also, he calls to return the revolution to the countryside and to end the intercommunal conflicts that the National Congress Party is working to inflame in various regions, as he said.
Last June, Hamdok launched an initiative calling for the reunification of the historical forces of the revolution, including the Sudanese Communist Party, and to reach an agreement with the military component of the transitional authority on reforming the security sector and integrating all armed forces into the national army.
By Malcolm Foster in Tokyo, Japan | 24 July 2021 |
Kenya-based middle-distance runners from South Sudan currently in Tokyo with the IOC Refugee Olympic Team in first intake of trailblazing athletic scholarship scheme.
Three members of the IOC Refugee Olympic Team from South Sudan currently preparing to compete in Tokyo will begin new lives training and studying in Canada after the Games, thanks to a unique athletic scholarship that offers young refugees a chance to settle in the country based on their sporting talent.
Middle-distance runners Rose Nathike Lokonyen, Paulo Amotun Lokoro and James Nyang Chiengjiek were members of the first Refugee Olympic Team in Rio in 2016 before being selected to compete once again in Tokyo.
Having fled conflict in South Sudan, all three were living in Kenya’s Kakuma refugee settlement when their athletic prowess was first discovered. Since then, they have lived and trained in Kakuma and a training centre in Ngong near the capital Nairobi, before heading to Tokyo earlier this week to compete in their second Olympics.
Following the competition, later this year they will be sponsored to move to Canada and study at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario. In doing so they will become the first refugees to move to Canada under a new “athletic pathway”, created through a partnership between UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, Sheridan College and the World University Service Canada (WUSC). The three athletes will continue to receive their IOC scholarship.
Speaking in Japan just before the start of the Tokyo Olympics, where he will run in the 800-metre race, James Nyang Chiengjek said he was grateful for the opportunity and believed it would boost the morale of other refugees by giving them hope that their hard work can also pay off.
“They will know that there is a chance. When you are doing something, you should do it with all your heart and do it knowing that one day, the door will be open,” he said.
As a boy, Chiengjek was forced to flee his home in Bentiu, South Sudan, to avoid being kidnapped and forcibly recruited as a child soldier. Arriving in neighbouring Kenya in 2002, he settled in Kakuma and attended a school known for its runners, joining a group of older boys training for long-distance events.
Chiengjek’s athletic talent was spotted by scouts in the camp, and after several years of training in Kakuma and a specialist base in Ngong near the capital Nairobi, he went on to participate in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games as part of the first IOC Refugee Olympic Team.
“We hope in the future many other refugees will get this kind of chance as well,” Chiengjek added.
Another athlete to emerge from Kakuma is Paulo Amotun Lokoro, who used to care for his family’s cattle back in South Sudan before fleeing the effects of war that had continued for most of his life in 2006, aged 14.
After joining his mother in Kakuma, Lokoro excelled in various sports as a high school student before focussing on the 1,500 metres, in which he competed for the IOC Refugee Olympic Team at Rio and will do so once again in Tokyo. He said he hoped his performances at the Olympics and winning the scholarship would encourage other young refugees to make the best of their gifts.
“It is our hope to prepare and promote the young talented people who are still there [in the refugee camps] and to give them support and also to give them morale and nurture their talent,” Lokoro said. “Their eyes are on us; they’re looking to us.”
After fleeing conflict or persecution, despite finding safety many refugees face obstacles to studying, finding work or pursuing passions such as sport in their host countries. Resettlement to a third country is one possible solution, but typically less than 1 per cent of the world’s 26.4 million refugees will ever be resettled.
Creating so-called complementary pathways such as community sponsorship, family reunification, educational scholarships or labour mobility schemes creates opportunities for more refugees to find permanent solutions to rebuild their lives. It is hoped the athletic pathway now being pioneered will be extended in future to more countries and other skills such as the arts.
“This is an important moment,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi. “It is the first time sporting potential and athletic capability have been recognized as a route for refugees to access tertiary education.”
“It is fantastic news for the three refugee Olympic athletes concerned, and we hope this Canadian pilot will serve as an example to relevant actors in Canada and in other countries to encourage them to also offer opportunities to admit refugees for educational, sports, artistic and cultural reasons among so many others.”
According to Al Jazeera, the gates of the Merowe Dam had to be opened to avoid flooding, while Al-Arabiya quoted Sudanese media reports claiming that floods swept through the town of Al-Faw in the Qadarif region, east of the country.
A state of emergency was declared after an unexpected water flow reached the Merowe Dam.
This came a few days after Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali declared the initiation of the second filling of the Renaissance Dam, which has become a major point of contention between Addis Ababa, Khartoum and Cairo.
South Sudan – the land of the Cush – the black (population = 12+million)
Chronicles 7:13-14: “When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the
locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people
who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face,
and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive
their sin and heal their land.”
Church leaders & all South Sudan prayer partners/friends to lead God’s
Cover the entire nation in prayer;
Call the entire nation to turn to
Declare South Sudan as God’s place;
Organize everybody…in groups or
individually to pray & cry out to the Lord God.
(TPT)“Let all the nations of the earth sing songs of praise to Almighty God! Go
ahead, all you nations—sing your praise to the Lord!”
We thank God for giving us a nation, where we belong and have an inheritance.
We also thank God for the freedom of worship.
We bless God for our divine purpose & in destiny the African Continent.
We thank God for placing our land and its people in Scriptures (Isaiah 18)…which has helped us to map our spiritual profile in the destiny of nations especially along the Nile River. God has blessed us with one of the best natural fertile soil in the world with enormous resources etc.
14 The church is the salt and light of the world
To be revived and Spirit-filled.
The church to walk in holiness and truth.
To be a united body of Christ so as to bear a credible witness of the gospel of the Kingdom of God in South Sudan (John 17:21).
4:11 “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists,
and some as pastors and teachers for the equipping of the saints for the work
of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ…”
To exercise the five-fold ministry
(mentioned above) and prepare God’s people for works of service in the nation.
The leaders to personally walk with
God and follow his directives for the growth and expansion of God’s Kingdom in
Pray that the Church leadership in
South Sudan understand their critical God-given mandate on the Ministry and
Word of Reconciliation at such a time as this in the nation.
Political Leadership: National/State Levels
“Then the Lord raised up judges who delivered them from the hands of those who
God to guide SSD’s leaders at both the national level (presidency, cabinet, and state leadership (governors) to serve diligently with godly fear.
That the leaders will demonstrate good governance & godly leadership.
A good federal system of governance.
The Leaders to serve humbly in the fear of God.
people of SSD experience God as a heavenly Father.
Focusing on who God for:
Total repentance and mass salvation for the entire nation.
May the Lord forgive us as a nation and blow a fresh wind of godly sorrow that will usher us into true repentance as a nation in this season…
For when any people sin against the Lord according to the books of Deuteronomy, 2 Chronicles, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Lamentations—the Lord judges those nations with pestilence, famine, and sword; for which we in SSD are currently suffering from.
7:14 “…If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray
and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from
heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
Hearts of the People of SSD
“Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; For I am God, and there is
All South Sudanese to turn to God
& seek him with all their hearts.
Pray for God’s mercy &
revival—revival should begin from the Church.
For the lifting up of those who carry
heavy burdens—speak to the people, LORD.
For the infilling and empowerment of
the Holy Spirit in the hearts of all those that seek the Lord.
For people to hunger, thirst, and
long after God with all their hearts.
we live in the world we are not carrying on a worldly war, for the weapons of
our warfare are not worldly but have divine power to destroy strongholds.”
(2 Corinthians 10:3-4 RSV)
The battle is not against flesh and blood (Eph. 6:11-18).
A spiritual breakthrough against demonic forces in South Sudan.
Evil forces/ witchcraft and evil alters broken in South Sudan.
Breaking the spirit of Illuminati that is capturing the minds of the youth into adopting shortcuts to getting rich. These include joining groups like the “Brotherhood” involving rituals of entrance under water.
the Church & Nation
17:20-21 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in
Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in
Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe
that You sent Me.”
Unity of the Church of Jesus Christ.
National unity of all South Sudanese.
For all South Sudanese to live in love, forgiveness, peace, unity, joy—manifesting the fruit of the Spirit.
For God to raise a powerful unifying movement in SSD that unifies the body of Christ in the nation and God to raise godly Spirit-filled leaders to bring the Church together.
28:8 “The Lord will command the blessing upon you in your barns and in all that
you put your hand to, and He will bless you in the land which the Lord your God
The prosperity of South Sudan
Change of heart & kicking-out corruption in the nation.
Miraculous turnaround of the economy
Restoration of sources of income both for the nation and individuals.
“… many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”
Pray that knowledge will increase in
the Nation of South Sudan.
To enhance the proper use of modern
technology in all government/private sector operations.
To avail opportunities in developing
the younger generation in various technological fields.
To build the hydro-electric dam on
Fulla Falls in Nimule on the white Nile as a source of stable power to run
various industries/factories in the nation.
turnaround in crime/criminal activities
“Every morning I will put to silence all the wicked in the land; I will cut off
every evildoer from the city of the LORD.”
A stoppage to the stealing / robbing / rampant killings.
God to deal with the Spirit of corruption in the Nation.
Breaking the spirit of revenge, cattle rustling, and tribalism, etc.
Insecurity on roads and towns especially Juba city.
inner healing across the entire Nation
“Come to me,
all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest…”(Matthew 11:28).
For children to be shielded and protected in a violent and hostile environment.
Jeremiah 30.17…..The Lord said I will restore your health and heal your wounds. Pray for the fulfillment of this great promise of God to manifest in the Nation of South Sudan.
2:11-12 “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,
teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live
soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age.”
A mighty and miraculous visitation of
God to those that suffer unjustly and to the oppressors as well—the jailed and
the jailer (Acts 16. 23-30).
Grace upon South Sudanese who come in
the name of the Lord (Mark 11:1-10).
Grace on all the persecuted (Acts
Grace for all SSD to be reconciled to
God & become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5.20-21).
“When God takes pleasure in anyone`s
way, he causes their enemies to make peace with them” (Proverbs 16:7)
The full implementation of the 2018 Revitalized Peace Agreement (R-ARCSS).
Trust building among key political leaders’ signatory to the R-ARCSS implementation.
God to put a burden for peace in the hearts of our leaders.
Let love, forgiveness, peace, unity, joy, etc. (the fruit of the Spirit) to reign in the hearts of all South Sudanese.
Military & all other organized forces.
What should we do?” asked some soldiers. John replied, “Don’t extort money or make false accusations. And be content with your pay.” (John 3:14)
Let our organized forces be disciplined despite the appalling conditions they serve in. They should recognize and fear God.
Let our government serve and treat the soldiers with dignity and respect and pay their dues timely.
The organized forces to be patriotic and be a unified National organized force and not tribal militias.
school in Juba
“All your children will be taught by Yahweh,
and great will be their peace and prosperity” (Isaiah 54:13 TPT).
Excellent educational system – a top-level school – a universal gold standard.
Christian education that reflects the heart of God.
Qualified, God-fearing teachers.
Availability of resources to model such a school in all the states of South Sudan.
South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardiit on Monday launched the first-ever locally-owned mobile telecom operator.
The Digitel Network, the third telco in the country, is expected to fast-track connectivity of areas previously not served by foreign-owned telecom firms.
In his remarks, President Kiir said his government is committed to bringing mobile services to remote areas. He noted that South Sudan needs to catch up with the rest of the world in terms of digital technology.
“The installation of mobile service infrastructure is an ongoing process. Recently people in Maper, Rumbek North County and Pochalla in the Greater Pibor Administrative Area have been connected to a mobile network.
“I have been informed that in three weeks’ time, Boma in the Greater Pibor Administrative area and Kuron Peace Village in Kapoeta East County will also be connected to the mobile network,” said Mr Kiir.
The President said the developments came as a result of government partnerships with the private sector.
“To demonstrate seriousness in the desire to connect rural communities to mobile networks, the government will explore options, including tax exemption that will benefit importation of network equipment and other telecommunications tools.
“This equipment will help increase digital literacy programmes for the next generation ICT-driven economy. The tax exemption I am proposing will be done in collaboration with the national revenue authority to ensure modalities for tax exemption are consistent with its mandate” Mr Kiir said.
Digitel joins South Africa’s MTN and Kuwait’s Zain in the South Sudan telecom market. Lebanese Vivacell was closed by the government in 2016 over alleged unpaid arrears.
Athiei De Chan Awuol, Executive Vice President for Digitel said that the company is committed to delivering digital services across the country.
“For us to launch our telecom services and products at 10 years of our independence anniversary shows that South Sudanese can contribute towards a bright future for ourselves, for our children and for the next generation,” said Mr Awuol.
He noted that the launch of Digitel demonstrates the commitment of South Sudanese to develop their country, adding that since 2011 the government has been working hard to attract foreign investors.
Washington, DC: The Executive Boards of the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have determined that Sudan has taken the necessary steps to begin receiving debt relief under the enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative. Sudan is the 38th country to reach this milestone, known as the HIPC Decision Point.
Debt relief will support Sudan in implementing essential reforms to improve the lives of its people by allowing the freeing up of resources to tackle poverty and improve social conditions. Sudan’s external public debt will be irrevocably reduced—through HIPC debt relief and other debt relief initiatives anchored to the HIPC initiative—by more than US$50 billion in net present value terms, representing over 90 percent of Sudan’s total external debt—if it reaches the HIPC Completion Point in about three years’ time.
In addition, as Sudan continues on its path towards peace, stability and development after more than 30 years of isolation from the international financial system, the normalization of its relations with the international community will enable access to critical additional financial resources to strengthen the economy and improve social conditions.
“Today marks an important milestone that will enable Sudan to significantly reduce its debt burden. This is a potentially transformative outcome for a nation of 44 million people that has suffered conflict, instability, and economic isolation for decades,” said World Bank Group President David Malpass following the World Bank Executive Board discussion on June 28, 2021. “The World Bank has been providing pre-arrears clearance grants to Sudan and supporting the Sudan Family Support Program, and I am looking forward to further scaling up our engagement to improve the living conditions of the Sudanese people.”
“I would like to congratulate the Sudanese government and people for their steadfast efforts over the past year leading to this historic milestone under challenging conditions exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Kristalina Georgieva, IMF Managing Director. “Successful reform efforts have laid the groundwork for fostering inclusive economic growth and addressing the needs of the most vulnerable people. Sudan needs to sustain and expand the implementation of these reforms—and in doing so it can count on the IMF’s continuous support to secure a more prosperous future.”
“This decision is an important milestone which will support Sudan’s reform and development agenda and our efforts to move away from the past and foster better lives for our people,” said Abdallah Hamdok, Prime Minister, Republic of Sudan. “The journey leading to this decision required hard work, dedication and strong partnership with the international community. This is a big day for Sudan and reaffirms that all the efforts and sacrifices of Sudanese people are recognized and rewarded. The Government of Sudan expresses its appreciation to the IMF, the World Bank Group, and other partners for their unwavering support and to the Sudanese people for their resilience, patience, and dedication in these trying times.”
Sudan is committed to strengthening macroeconomic stability; implementing policies to reduce poverty; and putting in place a set of reforms focused on fiscal sustainability, exchange rate flexibility, expanding the social safety net, strengthening the financial sector and improving governance and transparency, in order to reach the HIPC Completion Point. The World Bank and the IMF will continue working together to provide the technical assistance and policy guidance needed by the authorities to achieve these goals, including in the context of the new, 39-month IMF financial arrangement.
In addition, following the arrears clearance, the World Bank has unlocked substantial project financing through IDA, which will provide nearly US$2 billion in grants for poverty reduction and sustainable economic recovery—with a focus on enhancing competitiveness, transparency and accountability; increasing investment in irrigation and agriculture to support sustainable livelihoods; supporting access to energy, water, health, and education; creating jobs; and creating entrepreneurship opportunities for women and youth.
The leaderships of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund express gratitude to their member countries of all regions and income levels, in particular Canada, France, Italy, Malta, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States, together with the European Commission, whose interventions and additional grants helped catalyze international support and raise the necessary financial resources to help Sudan reach the Decision Point. They would also like to thank other countries which went through their budgetary processes to contribute: Austria, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and Turkey.
Details of the Debt Relief Operation
At the start of the HIPC process, Sudan’s total public- and publicly guaranteed external debt was estimated at US$56.2 billion in NPV terms. Application of traditional debt relief mechanisms reduces this debt to US$30.9 billion.
Additional debt relief under the enhanced HIPC Initiative is estimated at US$23.3 billion in NPV terms. Of this amount, US$4.6 billion, US$17.0 billion, and US$1.7 billion are projected to be provided by official multilateral, bilateral, and commercial creditors, respectively.
Paris Club creditors have provided financing assurances for interim debt relief to Sudan . The largest Paris Club creditors for Sudan are France, Austria, the United States, Belgium, and Italy. The IMF Executive Board has approved interim debt relief assistance on debt service falling due to the IMF in the period between the HIPC Decision and Completion Points. At the HIPC Completion Point, Sudan’s current debt due to the IMF will be paid with the proceeds of voluntary financial contributions that have been received from over 100 IMF members, including many low-income countries.
Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI). MDRI debt relief from IDA and the African Development Bank would cancel all remaining claims at the Completion Point.
Altogether, Sudan’s external debt burden is expected to fall from about US$56 billion (163 percent of GDP) in NPV terms as of end-2020 to US$6 billion (14 percent of GDP) once the Completion Point is reached and with the participation of all creditors.
IMF and World Bank Arrears Clearance Operations
Arrears to IDA were cleared on March 26, 2021 through bridge financing provided by the United States, reimbursed with the proceeds of a Development Policy Grant primarily funded from IDA’s Arrears Clearance Set Aside in IDA19.
Arrears to the African Development Bank Group were cleared on May 12, 2021 through bridge financing provided by the government of the United Kingdom and contributions from Sweden and Ireland. The bridge loan from the UK was reimbursed via the proceeds of a Policy Based Operation Grant.
Arrears to the IMF were cleared on June 29, 2021 with the assistance of bridge financing from the government of France, which the authorities reimbursed using front-loaded access under the new IMF financial arrangement.
The HIPC Initiative
In 1996, the World Bank and IMF launched the HIPC Initiative to create a framework in which all creditors, including multilateral creditors, can provide debt relief to the world’s poorest and most heavily indebted countries to ensure debt sustainability, and thereby reduce the constraints on economic growth and poverty reduction imposed by the unsustainable debt service burdens in these countries. To date, 38 HIPC-eligible countries, including Sudan, have reached Decision Point, of which 36 have reached Completion Point.
Created in 2005, the aim of the MDRI is to further reduce the debt of eligible low-income countries and provide additional resources to help them reach their development objectives. Under the MDRI, three multilateral institutions—the World Bank’s IDA, the IMF and the African Development Fund—provide 100 percent debt relief on eligible debts to qualifying countries, at the time they reach the HIPC Initiative Completion Point. Sudan will receive additional debt relief under the MDRI from the World Bank Group and the AfDB Group, but it is not eligible for MDRI debt relief from the IMF because Sudan does not have any outstanding MDRI-eligible loans from the IMF. Sudan, however, is expected to be considered by the IMF for “beyond HIPC” debt relief, as was done in the case of Liberia and Somalia, which would amount to 100 percent debt relief on eligible debt from the IMF.
On 30 June, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) resolved to grant Sudan access to its Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative. Under this Initiative, the IMF coordinates debt reductions and cancellations for a participating country with its external creditors, a possibility that is now open to Sudan.
As a precondition to its entry into the Initiative, Sudan was obliged to clear debt arrears to international financial institutions, a task that was largely achieved with aid and bridging loans from foreign countries. This article analyses what is at stake in the HIPC decision, and draws on comparisons from Sudan’s history after independence to analyse the motivations of Sudan’s foreign partners and donors.
Indebted, poor, but also under siege
In 2019, a popular uprising toppled Sudan’s military president, Omer al-Bashir, who had ruled the country since taking power in a coup in 1989. Sudan is currently undergoing a negotiated transition to democratic rule. The transitional government faces a difficult economic situation and the legacy of sanctions introduced under the previous regime.
Sudan was placed under sanctions by the United States in 1997 due to Omer al-Bashir’s support for armed Islamic groups in the region. In 2014, the European Union strengthened the international sanctions against Sudan due to armed conflicts within the country. US sanctions against Sudan were nominally lifted in 2017, but Sudan was still designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism by the US State Department. This meant that Western companies remained unwilling to invest in Sudan due to a fear of criminal prosecution in the US, leaving Sudan under a regime of ‘sanctions by default.’
Sudan has been in debt arrears to the IMF and other international creditors since 1984, when the country was under a previous military ruler, Jaafar Nimeiri. After 1989, al-Bashir’s government initially sought to repay Sudan’s foreign debts. However, the introduction of sanctions starved Sudan of foreign exchange, causing the country to default decisively on its obligations, which continued to compound in creditors’ books.
Following al-Bashir’s downfall, many Sudanese are hopeful that Sudan will be able to re-engage with Western systems of diplomacy, trade and finance. In response, Western governments and financial institutions have made clear that renewed aid and investment are dependent upon Sudan clearing foreign debt arrears, most notably through the HIPC Initiative.
The HIPC Initiative
The IMF established the HIPC initiative in 1996 to relieve poor countries of external debt burdens through cancellations agreed with external creditors. Although proponents of the Initiative celebrate how it generously relieves countries of unmanageable debts, Celine Tan points out that a significant motivation for the scheme’s inception was to avoid the collective exit of countries in the Global South from the existing international financial system due to an objective inability to repay compounding debts following fluctuating interest rates and commodity prices over multiple decades.
Crucially, access to HIPC debt relief is contingent, first, upon economic reforms during six months prior to the HIPC ‘Decision Point’ by the IMF; and, second, upon a continuing programme of reforms between the Decision Point and actual debt relief. Typically, much of the debt eventually cancelled will not have been serviced for many years. The same will be true of Sudan, no less than 86% of whose external debts are in arrears. The major incentive for participating countries is renewed perceptions of creditworthiness and access to new forms of financing. As with its routine financing, these conditionalities are key channels through which the IMF institutionalizes economic orthodoxy in the Global South.
In addition to domestic reforms, the key condition for Sudan’s access to the HIPC Initiative was to clear its arrears to the IMF and other official creditors such as the African Development Bank (AfDB). This condition was demanded to demonstrate Sudan’s creditworthiness and because official multilateral creditors are typically ranked ahead of bilateral and private creditors in sovereign debt repayments. However, Sudan in 2021 is in no position to repay debts that have been compounding for nearly four decades.
The solution has come from ‘donor’ (capital-exporting) countries among Sudan’s international partners during its political transition. These countries have issued grants and bridging loans to repay arrears to the IMF and AfDB. However, this outpouring of generosity invites multiple questions: why make certain debt repayments a condition of wider debt forgiveness? Since these repayments rely on windfall funding from partner countries, they cannot be said to demonstrate Sudan’s own creditworthiness. Furthermore, why did these partner countries – which are among Sudan’s principal creditors – commit resources repaying arrears owed to fellow creditors, rather than directly cancelling debts and spending financial aid on projects within Sudan?
A comparison from Sudan’s history is instructive. In 1970, President Jaafar Nimeiri nationalized British banks and trading companies in Sudan, which incurred multiple claims for compensation from the appropriated companies. As a result, commercial and capital finance to Sudan from Western countries was greatly reduced.
By 1973, Nimeiri had repented and was seeking reintegration into Western systems of trade and finance. Nimeiri removed left-wing ministers from office and liquidated cadres of Sudan’s powerful Communist Party. However, one problem remained: Sudan lacked the foreign exchange with which to compensate nationalized foreign companies.
Faced with this situation, the UK Foreign Office was keen to re-open Sudan to British trade and finance. However, it was politically difficult to do so while compensation claims remained outstanding. British officials faced calls from private companies, diplomats, and the Sudanese government to issue aid to Sudan that could be used to pay the country’s compensation bill. One internal Foreign Office minute rejected this proposal:
‘It is hard to imagine circumstances in which H[er] M[ajesty’s] G[overnment] would ever be willing to lend another government money specifically for the purpose of compensating UK nationals which it had injured.’
There was a risk of dangerous precedents. However, this strong statement of principle was followed in the same document by an important qualification:
‘in certain circumstances, as part of a political new deal with the government of a country manifestly anxious to reform its ways (or, more likely, those of its predecessors) it may be found desirable to give new capital aid at about the same time as the other government is willing to settle compensation claims on reasonable terms.’
A solution was found such that British officials negotiated in secret with the Sudanese government such that part of a new aid issue in 1973 would indeed be redirected towards compensating British companies with nationalized assets in Sudan. Again, this raises a question: why did the British state not compensate private British companies directly, instead of arranging secretly for such funds to pass through the books of the Sudanese state?
I argue that this reveals the power of appearances in international finance. The international economy is based on norms, which themselves underpin deep-seated power relations. Chief among these norms is the principle that creditors are always repaid. Therefore, even when debtors cannot afford to repay their creditors – as occurred with Sudan in 1973 and again in 2021 – it is made to appear as if they can. So, the reality of sovereign default is concealed, lest this exceptional event risks transform into a new norm in the practice of international political economy.
In 2021, this is the triumph of the HIPC Initiative in the murky world of appearances, norms and power underpinning international finance: debt rescheduling and restructuring, negotiated between sovereign debtors and creditors based on political relationships and assessments of solvency, are transformed into debt ‘forgiveness’, granted as an act of charity by benevolent creditors.
But this is not merely a question of appearances, and the exercise of power by international finance is arguably much more pernicious in 2021 compared with 1973. The fact that British compensation paid to its own companies was disguised as capital aid to Sudan was largely for appearances’ sake, so that the pretence of financial orthodoxy could be maintained.
In 2021, more than appearances are at stake as creditors’ pretence to financial orthodoxy exact acts of complicity from Sudan’s transitional government to maintain the pretence. To arrive at the HIPC Decision Point, Sudan had to demonstrate a ‘6-month track record of satisfactory performance’ in an IMF staff-monitored programme. This has involved privatising state assets, removing subsidies and severe fiscal deflation – the very policies that were the proximate cause for the uprising against Omer al-Bashir. The route to actual forgiveness will come with similar demands for auto-punitive ‘reform’ in the Sudanese economy. Sudan must decide if economic collapse is a price worth paying for relief from book-entry debts.
Sudan’s only alternative is to re-politicize the question of its debt and articulate a different language and norms with which to challenge its creditors.
 The US rescinded Sudan’s status as a State Sponsor of Terrorism in December 2020, during Sudan’s political transition, in return for Sudan committing $335 million to compensate ‘US victims of terrorism’.
 Or, will take the form of principals that countries are unable to pay down despite being continuously serviced and refinanced.
 This orthodoxy includes capital and commercial account liberalization; floating of exchange rates; privatizations; subsidy removals; and fiscal deflation.
 Sudan’s most important Paris Club (Western, official) creditors are France, Austria, the United States, Belgium and Italy.
 This section is based on my recent research being prepared for publication.
 Other foreign companies were also nationalized. However, British companies formed the majority of foreign-owned businesses in Sudan, a legacy of British rule in Sudan which lasted until 1956.
 UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Internal minute (January 1971). The National Archives, Kew. FCO 39/706.
 This is not to deny the many pernicious effects in this period of a power relationship established first by British colonial rule in Sudan, and subsequently by the two countries’ respective positions as exporters and importers of capital in the international economy.
A year into South Sudan’s transitional government of national unity, there has been little progress in bringing peace and stability to the country. Despite renewed political commitment to the 2018 Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS), the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan reports ‘staggering’ levels of violence across the country.
Over the past two years, the country has experienced ongoing human rights violations, a rise in inter-communal violence fuelled by land disputes and past grievances, and attacks on civil society. A driving factor behind the increase in violence is competition for land in areas such as Yei, Nimule and Juba. Land, reparation and transitional justice are linked in South Sudan.
The AU’s 2014 inquiry found that land disputes – including ownership, use and occupation – were among the accumulated grievances. The inquiry called for land reform as part of transitional justice processes, but the 2018 peace agreement didn’t address land in its transitional justice framework.
A recent report by the Institute for Security Studies explores this omission in the R-ARCSS. It considers citizens’ views and proposes remedies relating to land as part of the post-war reconstruction of South Sudan.
Despite high hopes, little progress has been made in setting up transitional justice institutions
However, a crucial problem is that the Commission for Truth, Reconciliation and Healing and the Compensation and Reparation Authority have not been set up as planned. And a memorandum of understanding with the African Union (AU) on establishing the Hybrid Court for South Sudan (HCSS) hasn’t been signed either.
These three mechanisms, provided under Chapter V of the R-ARCSS, are meant to address past and present gross human rights violations, hold perpetrators accountable, and award reparations to South Sudanese for harm suffered during the years of conflict.
Despite the high hopes created when transitional justice processes were included in the peace agreement, little progress has been made in setting up these institutions. And this is not the only sector that has made little headway. Over the past year, constitution-making and economic and security sector reform has also stalled. This could lead to a recurrence of national conflict, creating thousands more South Sudanese victims.
Setting up the three transitional justice mechanisms is the only hope to ensure conflict doesn’t recur
COVID-19 has exacerbated the humanitarian crisis, adding to high levels of displacement, acute food insecurity, and a lack of access to aid. Ongoing food shortages and floods have placed an undue burden on the transitional government.
How the authorities respond in the short to medium term will significantly impact the country’s security and political landscape. Establishing the three transitional justice mechanisms remains the only hope to ensure that conflict doesn’t recur.
The absence of these institutions shows meagre political will for justice and reconciliation. It sends a message to those responsible for the insecurity and violence that they can continue destabilising the country for their own ends with impunity.
There are benchmarks that could help organise and measure the implementation of the R-ARCSS. South Sudan’s transitional government should take note of these. A crucial first step is a transitional national legislature. This is the body responsible for the constitutional and legislative reform needed to implement the peace agreement, including passing national laws to get the Hybrid Court operating.
The deliberate delays in signing a memorandum of understanding with the AU on setting up the Hybrid Court must be urgently addressed by all those who signed the R-ARCSS. The court should have been established a year after finalising the peace agreement, but there has been little commitment from South Sudan’s government.
Deliberate delays in signing an MOU with the African Union on the Hybrid Court must be addressed
Parties to the peace agreement should make joint statements on what they have done to ensure implementation. A transitional justice guide for public participation should be made widely available. The next step is to hold local peace and reconciliation discussions to move forward the outcomes and recommendations of the national dialogue conference that concluded in November 2020.
The AU and signatories to the peace agreement – specifically the Intergovernmental Authority on Development member states – should galvanise efforts to meet the deal’s benchmarks. Such progress would show government commitment and renew hope among victims in South Sudan. As an interlocutor of the Hybrid Court, the AU can use its transitional justice policy to guide the process.
Time is however running out. A year has passed since the government of national unity was formed, and less than two years remain in the transitional period. The transitional justice processes have stagnated, and only a concerted effort by the AU and the government can prevent further violence in South Sudan.
Read the full ISS report on land and reparative justice in South Sudan.
Allan Ngari, West Africa Regional Organised Crime Observatory Coordinator, ENACT and Maram Mahdi, Research Officer, Lake Chad Basin Programme