Congo Siasa

Vulture funds, censorship and debt relief

A few miscellaneous tidbits:

  • The Paris Club of Creditors agreed Thursday to cancel $1.3 billion of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s external public debt and to reschedule around $1.6 billion of the debt it owes. This is eliminate around 97% of debt services the Congo has to do, a substantial subsidy to its budget.
  • The Congolese government has upheld the suspension of Radio France International throughout the country. It initially cut RFI, which broadcast on FM in various Congolese cities, in July 2009, claiming that its broadcasts “undermined army morale.” It also maintains the persona non grata status of RFI’s main correspondent to the Congo, Ghislaine du Pont.
  • The Comite national de suivi (CNS), the peace process committee, is meeting in Goma with the various signatory armed groups. The CNDP refused to meet with them because they didn’t get positions in the new cabinet. The government is now saying that this was because “they didn’t agree on CNDP candidates and send us their CVs on time.” Sure.
  • The Financial Times reported that the Congolese government is now being sued in a Hing Kong court by a “vulture fund” that bought part of Congolese public debt and is now trying to get the Chinese government to pay them what the Congolese owe from the $350 million signing bonus. The total they want: $100 million. (Article here, might need to subscribe).