Carter: Int'l community should erase Sudan's debt

January 13, 2011 13:18

JUBA, Sudan  — Former USPresident Jimmy Carter says the international community should forgive Sudan's crushing debt burden to help the likely new nation of Southern Sudan get on its feet.

Southern Sudan is oil-rich but remains desperately poor. The entire France-sized region has only 30 miles (50 kilometers) of paved roads and only 15 percent of the population can read.Carter said Thursday that Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir believes the international community should forgive the debt, a view Carter agrees with.

Southern Sudan is widely expected to secede from the north, and al-Bashir has said he will let the south go peacefully. The north and south fought a two-decade war that killed 2 million people before a 2005 peace agreement.

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