The International Monetary Fund has lifted a seven-year-old suspension of Sudan's IMF voting rights in a further step to restore the country's standing with the institution, the Fund announced Tuesday. An IMF statement said the move was in recognition of Sudan's success since 1997 in implementing Fund-monitored macroeconomic reform programs and in repaying IMF credits.
A first step in the country's complete reintegration came on August 27 last year when the IMF executive board lifted its declaration of non-cooperation against Sudan, which had been in place since 1990.
The statement said the "de-escalation" process was aimed at encouraging IMF members with long-standing arrears to the Fund to establish a record of policy adherence that will eventually enable them to regain full access to IMF loans.
The executive board's latest move also restores what the statement called Sudan's "related rights," which according to an IMF official refers to Khartoum's right to express its opinion within the institution. The board earlier this month determined that Sudan's performance under a 1999-2001 reform program had been "satisfactory both in terms of policy implementation and payments to the Fund."
"Nonetheless, it will be important for the authorities to maintain the current momentum in successfully implementing the medium-term staff-monitored program in terms of macroeconomic and structural policies, to increase payments to the IMF as committed for 2000 and 2001, and to further improve relations with other creditors," said IMF deputy managing director Shigemitsu Sugisaki. "This would help provide a basis for a comprehensive resolution to Sudan's arrears to the IMF and to its debt problem."
Sudan, where President Omar el-Beshir seized power in a military coup in 1989, has since been accused by the United States of sponsoring state terrorism. Successive Khartoum governments have also waged a costly war for 17 years against rebels in the mainly animist and Christian south who seek an end to Islamic domination.
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )