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Committee To Handle Exporters' Debts Set Up

In 2014, Uganda and South Sudan entered into a mutual agreement to pay about 123 billion shillings owed to 22 companies which lost goods and money following outbreak of civil war in South Sudan the previous year.
Government has set up a committee to fast track negotiations with South Sudan government on debts owed to Ugandan exporters.

The cabinet subcommittee comprising the Attorney General, William Byaruhanga, Minister of Trade, Amelia Kyambadde and Minister of Finance, Matia Kasaija will spearhead the process to negotiate the modalities of payment with the government of South Sudan.

The resolution was made during a cabinet meeting held at the Office of the Prime Minister in Kampala today.

A statement by the Information minister, Frank Tumwebaze states that ministries of finance and foreign affairs have also been directed to establish with the government of South Sudan modalities for repatriation of proceeds of Ugandan companies held in commercial banks.

“The committee will also pursue South Sudan to expeditiously form a joint cooperation commission to arbitrate the pending claims of Ugandans against South Sudan individuals," Tumwebaze explains.

In 2014, Uganda and South Sudan entered into a mutual agreement to pay about 123 billion shillings owed to 22 companies which lost goods and money following outbreak of civil war in South Sudan the previous year.

During the recent cabinet retreat at the National Leadership Institute Kyankwanzi, President Yoweri Museveni revealed that companies which were affected by the civil war in South Sudan will receive a financial bailout from government.

Fresh fighting erupted in South Sudan in early July forcing thousands of Ugandans to flee the country. Over 50,000 refugees have crossed into Uganda following the fighting.

Meanwhile, Cabinet has deferred a 175 billion shillings ($50m) loan presented by the Ministry of Finance to finance and support refugee hosting communities.

Tumwebaze says that while the ministers appreciated the problem refugee hosting communities face, they noted the need for the loan to be comprehensive and to cover all refugee hosting areas of the country. Government is also exploring ways of financing refugee-hosting communities without relying on loans.

“The loan will be brought back to cabinet after wider consultations have been carried out on the areas cabinet raised," Tumwebaze says.