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Kenya’s Parliament Warned That Unpaid Debts to China Threaten Standard Gauge Railway Service

Kenyan lawmakers are hoping China will consider a debt repayment extension to service the remaining $3.3 billion that was borrowed to build the Standard Gauge Railway. Simon Mania/AFP

Kenya Railways is falling behind in its debt service payments for one of the country’s new Chinese-built and financed Standard Gauge Railway lines, according to a new budget report submitted to the Kenyan parliament on Wednesday.

In its fiscal year 2020-2021 budget report, the National Assembly’s Budget and Appropriations Committee warned that Kenya Railways has failed to pay $357 million to Africa Star Railway Operation Company Ltd, the Chinese company that operates the Madaraka Express passenger and cargo line.

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