Sudan scores multi-million dollar railway investment from China despite military coup
Sudanese transport minister Hisham Abu-Zaid said the African country received cargo train carriages from Chinese manufacturing company CRRC Ziyang Co worth up to $51.6 million, Bloomberg reported.
Sudan paid 30 percent of the amount upfront, the minister said.
This high-scale investment comes despite sanctions from the US, World Bank and others in the international community placed on Sudan after army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan seized power and upended civilian rule.
"The new equipment will allow Sudan to transport 350,000 tons of cargo per month by rail, up from 80,000 tons," Bloomberg reported the Sudanese minister as saying.
No further details were given regarding future Chinese investment in the country.
In July last year, Sudan announced plans totalling up to $643 million for the renovation of its railway network, long neglected after years of conflict and financial instability.
The African Development Bank, China State Construction Engineering Corp. Ltd. and some Gulf firms expressed interest in the project.
Following October’s coup, the possibility of improvements and construction on the railway was thrown into doubt- but the reported railway investment is a sign investment is pressing ahead.
Western partners have criticised Sudanese military leadership for their brutal tactics against pro-democracy protesters, and called on them to "investigate human rights violations".
China, in contrast, pledged to continue its investment in Sudan and sent officials to the African country to meet with Burhan.
In March this year, China's Middle East envoy Zhai Jun met with the military ruler, saying afterwards: "Our bilateral friendship is rooted in [a] long history of exchanges and wide public support, and will not be affected by individual events."