August 19, 2011 (JUBA) – South Sudan officials say a currency exchange center was attacked in Warrap state, prompting the officials from the Central Bank of South Sudan (CBoSS) to evacuate the money held there to Wau in Western Bahr el Ghazal state.
- Men from South Sudan display new currency notes outside the Central Bank of South Sudan in Juba July 18, 2011 (Reuters)
The attack which occurred on Thursday left one person dead and two others wounded.
The caretaker minister of information and official spokesman of the government, Barnaba Marial Benjamin, on Friday said the insecurity in Warrap state has affected the currency exchange process in the state.
South Sudan is in the the process of circulating its new currency issued after its independence on July 9.
Benjamin also said that the exchange process has been affected in Uror county of Jonglei state because of the recent revenge attacks by the Murle tribe against the Luo Nuer community in Jonglei state. Uror county has a population of 180,000.
On Friday, Marial told the press that the newly appointed CBoSS Governor Cornelio Koryom Mayik, briefed the Council of Ministers on the progress and challenges the bank has been facing in the currency exchange process.
The official said the attack on the money center was initiated by a local group who are believed to have wanted to steal the money but pretended to be fighting among themselves while moving towards the center. He said some of the wounded attackers have been arrested and are under investigation.
Out of the projected 2.5 billion South Sudanese Pounds believed to be in circulation in South Sudan’s ten states, 1.2 billion has already been exchanged, explained Marial.
However, some of the old currency has not yet been collected and remains in the bank’s branches in the states or in some of the commercial banks, prompting fears for their safety.
CBoSS officials say the money may sit in such locations until the bank establishes a building in which to keep the old currency, pending decision by the government on its fate.
So far over 970 million exchanged Sudanese Pounds has been collected.
Officials expressed the need to also collect the remaining 400 million and keep them under the centralized custody of the Bank of South Sudan in order to avoid any attempt by some to re-circulate the old currency.
The deadline to end the exchange process is set for September 1st 2011.