China has agreed to loan South Sudan $8-billion for infrastructure development, South Sudan government spokesperson Barnaba Mariel Benjamin said Saturday.
“It will fund roads, bridges, hydropower, agriculture and telecommunications projects… within the next two years”, he said, giving details of a visit this week to China by South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir.
“Details [of the projects] will be defined by the ministers of the two countries and by the Chinese firms in charge of the work,” the spokesperson said.
China is the largest purchaser of oil from South Sudan and is also a longstanding business partner of Sudan from which it also buys oil.
Beijing, however, has made sure to develop good relations with South Sudan since it proclaimed independence last July.
Kiir had to cut short his visit to China due to the current conflict between his country and Sudan.
As a result of independence the south took with it about 75% of the formerly united Sudan’s oil production worth billions of dollars.
Disagreements over the issue were one of the main reasons for the latest round of hostilities.
Ready to leave
South Sudan said Saturday it was ready to withdraw its police forces from parts of the contested border region of Abyei to comply with international demands.
“The minister of interior will enhance the withdrawal of South Sudan’s police force from Abyei… as long as the United Nations and African Union will look after its citizens in the area”, a spokesman said. — AFP