Chinese bank turns down South Sudan request for $1 billion loan – officials

South Sudanese president, Salva Kiir and a Chinese government prime minister Li Keqiang (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

June 20th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – An unidentified Chinese bank has turned down a request by South Sudan for a $1 billion loan, two foreign ministry sources with knowledge to the matter said Thursday.

Recently, South Sudan said it is seeking $500 million loan to pay its Eastern African Community membership fees and to as well pay for the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement.

Speaking to the Nyamilepedia on Thursday, a foreign ministry official visiting Cairo said South Sudan had in May requested a $1 billion loan from a Chinese bank.

He said the government was notified at the beginning of June by the unnamed bank that – based on the financial situation of the country – they will not be able to lend such an amount.

It was not clear if the bank was doubting the ability of the world’s youngest nation to repay that amount.

In May, the government decided to borrow one million US[D] from a bank in China. We made this request so that we pay for the implementation of peace a pay obligations in regional organizations [like EAC],” the official who declined to be named said.

But, in less than one month, or I can say at the beginning of June, they say that South Sudan is in a situation where we can not be able to lent that money,” the official added.

Another official who spoke to a Nyamilepedia correspondent in Juba said the government has turned to Afri-Exim for half of those sought from the Chinese bank.

The government has asked the Afri-Exim bank for 500 million dollar loan and preparations are underway for its delivery,” the official said.

South Sudan descended into a brutal civil war in December 2013 following dispute at a national convention of the ruling SPLM party in Juba leading to split in the army igniting civilians massacre leading to a civil war mostly fought along ethnic lines.

The war has devastated South Sudan’s economy and it since then began depending on foreign loans as oil production in several oilfields in the northern part of the country has been halted due to fighting over control between government and opposition troops.

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