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China loans Bangui another US $2 million

The governments of the Central African Republic (CAR) and of the People’s Republic of China have signed a US $2-million interest-free loan agreement to help CAR authorities overcome current financial hardships, state-owned Radio Centrafrique reported on Wednesday. Quoting a statement issued by the CAR Foreign Ministry, the radio reported that the loan would be serviced from 2014 to 2024. Foreign Minister Charles Wenezoui and Chinese Ambassador He Siji signed the agreement on 5 March in the CAR capital, Bangui. Wenezoui was quoted as saying that the CAR would repay the loan either in cash or in kind, depending on its preference. The latest Chinese loan comes as the government struggles to resolve its financial crisis, having not paid civil servants for three months and grappling with a month-long teachers and students' strike over unpaid salaries and scholarships. China was the first nation to assist the CAR with a $2.5-million grant in April 2003, a month after CAR leader Francois Bozize seized power from President Ange-Felix Patasse. In June 2003, China granted the CAR another interest-free loan of $2.5 million and a further $2 million in November. China also donated $83,000 to support the CAR's national reconciliation forum that was held in September-December 2003. In a related development, a Chinese military delegation led by Gen Zhang-Bang Dong, the director of foreign affairs at the Chinese defence ministry, arrived in Bangui on Wednesday for a four-day mission. The radio reported that Dong would meet CAR military authorities, including Bozize, who is also the CAR's defence minister.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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