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East African bloc suspends South Sudan membership over debts

Christian Fernsby |
The Inter Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has suspended South Sudan from the regional bloc due to failure to pay annual fees owed to the regional body.

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Michael Makuei Lueth, Minister of Information, Communication and Postal Services, who did not divulge details on the amount of the money owed to the eight member bloc, confirmed the development.

"We have exactly been suspended from IGAD simply because we have not paid our dues, and there are so many vacancies about 14 of them which are supposed to be our positions. We are unable to occupy them simply because we have not paid our dues for long," Makuei told journalists after the weekly cabinet meeting in Juba on Friday.

He said that the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mayiik Ayii Deng made a presentation to the cabinet requesting for money to settle the outstanding dues.

"After thorough deliberation, it was decided that the minister of foreign affairs discuss all these with the new minister of finance, so that they can find a way forward in order to pay all the outstanding arrears," he added.

In July last year, the East African Community (EAC) threatened to suspend both South Sudan and Burundi over failure to pay annual contributions to the body.

IGAD, an east African trading and security bloc of eight nations was founded in 1986. The eight IGAD member states are Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Uganda.


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