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On Sudan IMF Has No View on Oil Transit Fee, Notes Country's in Arrears

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 17 -- As tensions have escalated between Sudan and South Sudan about oil transfer fees and the size of Sudan's debt, Inner City Press has repeatedly asked the International Monetary Fund for its view of the oil fee dispute and about possible debt relief for Sudan.

  At the IMF's Spring Meetings in Washington last month Inner City Press put the question to IMF regional expert Masood Ahmed. Finally on Thursday afternoon, after Inner City Press re-submitted the question to the IMF's embargoed briefing that morning, the following arrived:

Subject: Sudan questions
Date: Thu, May 17, 2012 at 1:55 PM
From: [Spokesperson at]
To: Matthew Russell Lee [at]

This is in response to your questions on Sudan and South Sudan:

Q - What is the IMF doing on or about the Sudan - South Sudan oil transfer fee dispute?

At the request of the African Union, the IMF has provided estimates of the fiscal and external impact of South Sudan’s separation on both countries. The Fund has not taken any position on the amount of financial assistance or oil transit fees that South Sudan could pay.

Q - … and about any debt relief for Sudan?

The Fund is discussing with the authorities economic policies to help stabilize the situation and implement reforms to sustain more inclusive growth. These could underpin a new Staff Monitored Program. Despite Sudan’s good cooperation on policies and payment to the Fund under successive SMPs, Sudan remains in arrears to the IMF and therefore ineligible to use Fund resources.

These answers are appreciated; among the questions that remain outstanding is

"What is the status of IMF programs in and reviews of Mali and Guinea Bissau, given coups in each country? "

If the IMF's work on the Sudans was at the request for the African Union, what about ECOWAS and these two coup d'etats? Watch this site.

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Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

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