South Sudan accuses Sudan of launching ‘economic war’

July 26th, 2011 - 9:13 pm ICT by BNO News  

JUBA (BNO NEWS) — The Southern Sudanese government has accused Sudan of launching an ‘economic war’ after it suddenly introduced a new currency which will cost South Sudan at least 700 million U.S. dollar.

South Sudan became the world’s newest country when it broke away from Sudan on July 9 following decades of civil war that left millions dead. The new nation has since been formally accepted as a Member State of the United Nations.

But a sudden move by Sudan to introduce a new version of the Sudanese Pound has angered South Sudan which is still transitioning to the South Sudanese Pound. “Sudan has declared an economic war on South Sudan,” said South Sudanese Peace Minister Hon Pagan Amum.

Hon Amum, who is also the Secretary General of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), claimed Sudan is hostile to the new country and is ‘hell-bent’ to crush its economy. He said Sudan had previously agreed not to issue a new currency until six months after the South did.

As a result of the new currency being issued in the North, the South has shortened the currency conversion period for its citizens to 1.5 months until September 1. Any Sudanese Pounds which have not been exchanged by that date will be rendered valueless, the government warned on Tuesday.

Hon Amum said the North does no longer recognize its previous agreement to let the South return the Sudanese Pounds after its transition period. This, according to the minister, will cost the nation at least 700 million U.S. dollar.

“The release of the currency by the North is intended to destroy the economy of the Republic of South Sudan; they do not want to take responsibility of the old currency,” Hon Amum said, describing the North’s action as ‘hostile’ and adding that it would hurt both countries.

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