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Sudan Tribune

Plural news and views on Sudan

US pledges US $ 700 to rebuild Sudan once peace is restored.

By SUNDAY NATION

NAIROBI, Dec 07, 2003 — The US has promised to give post-civil war Sudan hundreds of millions of dollars as negotiators resumed talks yesterday in Naivasha.

A senior US official said his government would spend up to Sh54 billion ($ 700 million) in three years to rebuild Sudan once peace is restored.

The official said in Nairobi: “The cake has already been made; what is remaining is the icing. The US is ready to spend millions of dollars in assistance and the EU (European Union) has huge amounts ready to invest in Sudan.”

However, he said Washington was expecting the negotiating parties – SPLA/M and the Sudanese government – to finalise the peace deal by mid January.

The final hurdle facing SPLA/M leader, Dr John Garang, and Sudanese Vice-President Osman Ali Taha, the official said, was the political will to agree on power-sharing and wealth distribution.

He admitted that the US has been exerting pressure on both sides to reach a peace accord this time “because it is ripe”.

“The political window for reaching an agreement is there now but, if they hesitate, they should know the window will not always be there,” he warned.

Meanwhile, a coalition of NGOs and religious organisations held a conference to spell out benchmarks for the peace talks.

They urged the negotiators not to squander the historic moment of bringing peace to Sudan.

“They have the opportunity to become heroes of history and to bring the suffering to an end. We hope this will not represent the loss of another historic moment,” said Ms Suzanne Jambo, leader of New Sudanese Indigenous NGOs.

The umbrella body represents 24 NGOs and religious organisations from Bahr-el-Ghazal, Equatoria, Nuba mountains, Funj and Upper Nile regions of South Sudan.