AU Envoy in Khartoum to Asharq Al-Awsat: Sudan Needs Marshall Plan to Save its Economy
African Union Special Representative for Sudan Ambassador Mohamed Belaiche stressed that the country needs a Marshall Plan to save its economy.
Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, he said that Sudan needs help from the United States, European Union and Arab Gulf states to save the economy, local currency, revive projects, the national airlines, return refugees back to their homes and support the poor.
Without this help, the “floodgates will open” and Sudan will become a passing point for refugees heading to Europe, a gateway for drugs and fertile ground for ethnic and racial conflicts, he warned.
Conflict in Sudan will impact the whole of Africa, he added. The international community must therefore, support the transitional government by lifting economic and financial sanctions imposed against Khartoum, he urged.
Taking Sudan off the list of state sponsors of terrorism is also paramount, said Belaiche, a Moroccan diplomat, who has served as ambassador to Sudan, Kuwait and Libya.
The transitional government is facing a dire economic situation with a drop in the value of the currency, inflation at 53 percent, high unemployment, a lack of investment and several other problems.
Belaiche criticized the international community for failing to turn to Sudan after its revolution that saw the ouster of the regime of longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir last year.
It’s as if the revolt never took place and no change was introduced. The international community should have helped Sudan work on its political and economic stability, he continued.
He lamented that besides aid from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, no other country or organization has turned to Sudan.
The United States, meanwhile, has acknowledged the positive change in Sudan, but says that removing it from the terrorism list is linked to procedural conditions, said the envoy. Among these conditions is compensating the victims of the terrorist attacks against the American embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam.
Belaiche called for exerting efforts to finance the special government program that is aimed at reviving the economy. Preparations must also be made for the upcoming donor conference, set for Kuwait in April.
The African Union should continue to monitor the transitional process in Sudan and consolidate peace, stability and development. It must address disarmament and reintegration of fighters in community, as well as introduce reform in the security sector, he suggested.
Turning to the transitional government, the envoy called on it to approach the transition with openness towards all segments of society in order to avoid any rift or dispute that would have dire consequences on the country.