World Bank chief in Sudan for first visit in 40 years

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World Bank president David Malpass (L) and Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok meet in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on September 30, 2021 (AFP/ASHRAF SHAZLY)
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World Bank president David Malpass in Sudan on Thursday for the first visit in nearly 40 years by a head of the development body, praised the country's reforms but cautioned against "political slippages".

A transitional government and a civilian-military Sovereign Council have been running the African country since 2019 after the ouster of long-time autocrat Omar al-Bashir.

Under Bashir, Sudan endured decades of corruption, and stringent US sanctions. The United States removed Sudan from its state sponsor of terrorism blacklist in December 2020, eliminating a major hurdle to much-needed aid and financial investment.

"Two years ago, Sudan's transitional government inherited a deeply damaged economy and society that had suffered decades of conflict and isolation," Malpass said in an address from Khartoum.

"Yet the country pressed forward with bold reforms," he said, making possible more than $50 billion in debt relief.

"It's critical to avoid political slippages because there is no development without peace and stability," Malpass added, just over a week after Sudan's government said it had thwarted a coup attempt.

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