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Vol 51 No 14

Published 9th July 2010


Odious debts, now less debt

More than a decade of tortuous negotiations has won US$8 billion of debt relief for Congo-Kinshasa a day after its fiftieth birthday. The historic, moral argument for relief is straightforward. The IMF and the World Bank, under pressure from Britain, Belgium, France and the United States, lent billions of dollars to President Mobutu Sese Seko’s regime in the 1980s when by most independent assessments there was little chance of the money being used for the intended reforms and developments.

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