There are opportunities in the oil-rich south but fears about the politically unstable north

UK engineers are beginning to do business in Sudan as it tries to improve its infrastructure after years of conflict – despite the country being run by a president who is subject to an arrest warrant for crimes against humanity.

Waterman Group and Halcrow are working in the capital Khartoum.

Waterman is doing detailed design work for developer Qatari Diar on a $1bn mixed-use project called Mushaireb, which includes a five-star hotel, eight residential and retail buildings, and office space near Khartoum.

In December last year, a delegation from engineer Halcrow assessed Khartoum’s airport for expansion.

In 2009 the president of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, was accused by the international criminal court of murder and rape in Darfur.

Dominic James, staff director of UK consultants’ body British Expertise, said the arrest warrant posed a problem for firms looking to pick up work in the north of the country.

However, the south, which voted for independence and which is rich in oil, is expected to receive foreign aid for rebuilding.

Sudan is ranked fourth worst in the world for corruption by Transparency International.