Wednesday, January 06, 2010

UK pledges £54 million ($86.38 million) aid package for Sudan

UK pledges Sudan aid ahead of crucial elections
Reuters report by Avril Ormsby 06 Jan 2010 - excerpt:
(LONDON) - Britain announced a 54 million pound ($86.38 million) aid package for Sudan on Wednesday and said the African country faced a "crucial and critical time" ahead of elections important for the whole region's stability. [...]

Failure to deliver credible elections could see a return to conflict, with implications not only for Sudan and its oil production, but for the whole region, minister for Africa Glenys Kinnock said.

"We understand these are crucial and critical times for Sudan," she said.

"The risk of a return to further conflict is a real one. We understand and accept that. We know what has to be done, and we just have to get on and do it."

Kinnock said Britain and the international community must pursue "strong and determined engagement" with Sudan, if long-term peace and security was to be secured. [...]

Kinnock said she recognised contentious issues remained, including sustainable development, sharing oil revenues, and economic diversification, and called for greater rights for peaceful protest and freedom of speech.

She played down talk of postponing the elections, saying it was neither desirable nor feasible.

If the oil-rich south voted for separation a "lot of bargaining" would be needed on oil and other issues, she said, with a "great deal of thought" required. [...]

(Editing by Philippa Fletcher)

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