September 6, 2012 (JUBA) - South Sudan’s Central Bank on Thursday said it is conducting studies into the possibility of introducing small denominations featuring face of the country’s late leader, John Garang.
- A picture shows notes of the new South Sudan pound, which pictures the late South Sudanese independence leader John Garang, in Juba on July 18, 2011. (Getty)
Tong Akec, an administrative officer with the Central Bank told Sudan Tribune on Thursday that the new coin will show a smiling face of late John Garang on the front and other national symbols. Akec said the Bank is conducting research about other symbols that that the country’s leadership want to be honoured.
The long serving bank official said seven animals including cows, giraffe, elephants; buffalo, tigers and lions are being studied to be included on the back of the coins. The leadership is also studying significance of the Nile River, Pineapples, vegetation and others.
"This is just a proposal which has not yet been approved but it will certainly be approved because it has been a request of the majority to have a coin."
"The board has received requests and we are pleased to inform the general public the bank has received their requests and suggestions, which will be studied before taking a decision. We therefore would like to let the general public know that the Bank take a decision that would reflects South Sudan’s pride as a nation and pays tribute to a much-loved world icon," he said.
Garang’s face is also featured on the notes of the South Sudanese Pound which was introduced after South Sudan’s independence in July 2011. Last week Garang’s son Mabior Garang has accused the Juba government of hijacking his fathers’ legacy.
John Garang led the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) from 1983 until a peace deal in 2005 gave South Sudan the right to secede in 2011. Under the deal Garang became the President of South Sudan as an autonomous region and the First Vice President of The Republic of Sudan.
After his death in a helicopter crash on 30 July 2011 his deputy Salva Kiir assumed Garang’s posts’ and became the Chairman of the SPLM.
In an interview with McClatchy newspapers published on August 31 Mabior Garang said that the members of the SPLM who have governed South Sudan since his father’s death, staged a "posthumous coup".
"My father is a fuel by which these people have been running, but they have actually gone against (him). They’ve done the opposite of what he was saying and what he was trying to do," he said.
“I’m opposed to what’s happening. I don’t want to be guilty by association." Corruption and tribal conflict and rivalries are major problems in the world’s youngest nation.
Garang went as to accuse the SPLM government of trying to intimidate him not to speak out against the way South Sudan is being governed.