Macron Hosts Summit To Help Sudan Post-Bashir
Muhammad Irfan 1 month ago Mon 17th May 2021 | 10:10 AM
Paris, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 17th May, 2021 ) :French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday hosts African leaders, diplomats and lenders at a summit aimed at helping Sudan after years of conflict-riven authoritarian rule.
Several heads of state will gather in Paris to discuss investment in Sudan and negotiate its debt to help the government of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok in the transition after the 2019 ouster of longtime strongman Omar al-Bashir.
Both meetings, held in a temporary exhibition centre near the Eiffel Tower in Paris, will be a chance for Macron to show himself as a statesman on Africa whose influence goes beyond the continent's Francophone regions.
The meetings will both mark a return to in-person top-level gatherings after the Covid-19 pandemic made video conferences the norm.
Among those attending both meetings will be Rwandan President Paul Kagame in a rare visit to France as Paris presses for reconciliation with Kigali after a historic report made clear French failings over the 1994 genocide.
"The Sudanese transition is considered by us -- but also by the entire international community -- as an example of democratic transition in Africa and as such deserves special attention," said a French presidential official who asked not to be named.
The official said the summit aims to unite the international community around helping Sudan, in particular addressing its vast debt pile.
"We are not looking for grants or donations," he added.
Hamdok and his government have pushed to rebuild the crippled economy and end Sudan's international isolation under Bashir, whose three-decade iron-fisted rule was marked by economic hardship and international sanctions.
Also attending will be President Sahle-Work Zewde of Ethiopia, whose country has been locked in a long dispute with Sudan over water resources that has sometimes threatened to erupt into open conflict.
Africa has so far been less badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic than other global regions -- with a total of 130,000 dead across the continent.
But the economic cost is only too apparent, and Tuesday's Africa summit will focus on making up the shortfall in the funds needed for future development -- a financial gap estimated by the IMF to amount to $290 billion up to 2023.
A French presidential official said Macron and Nyusi would hold a bilateral meeting and the summit would also be a chance for the international community to coordinate efforts to help Mozambique.