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New Sudan currency to circulate from January 10

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Jan 8, 2007 (KHARTOUM) — Sudan will introduce a new ’pound’ currency to replace the current ’dinar’ from Jan. 10, at a cost of $150 million, Central Bank Governor Sabir Mohamed Hassan said on Monday.

The new currency was agreed under a north-south peace deal. The dinar, introduced in 1992, was seen by ethnic African southerners as a symbol of what they called an Arabisation policy by Khartoum’s Islamist government.

"The pound will be introduced and the dinar withdrawn gradually," Hassan told reporters in Khartoum on Monday.

The dinar would be finally withdrawn by June 30, 2007, he said. The new currency would be used in both northern and Southern Sudan. One new Sudanese pound would equal 100 Sudanese dinar.

The new currency include six denominations of one pound, two pounds, five pounds, ten pounds, twenty pounds and fifty pounds.

The Governor said the paper money would be printed inside the Sudan by the Sudanese currency printing press and that the papers would be imported through bids in accordance with international standards and procedures.

In areas controlled by the former southern rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), the dinar was never introduced and tattered, dirty old Sudanese pounds, or foreign currencies were traded instead. The pound was the original currency before the dinar.

The return of the pound was a disputed matter during the north-south peace talks. In the final accord signed in January 2005, it was agreed the international community would help fund the cost of introducing the new currency.

But Hassan said that money had not emerged and the $150 million in costs had come from Sudan’s oil revenues, which are shared roughly 50:50 between the north and south under the deal.

($1 = 201 Sudanese dinar)

(Reuters/ST)

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