February 6, 2013 (WASHINGTON) – The Sudanese government has recently made a payment to the United Nations to satisfy the delinquent dues which resulted in the suspension of the East African nation’s vote this month.
- Deputy spokesperson for the UN secretary-general Eduardo del Buey (UN Photo)
The UN disclosed this year that Sudan owes $1 million in arrears but to reinstate its voting rights it needs to pay only $347,879.
The deputy spokesperson for the UN secretary-general, Eduardo del Buey, told Sudan Tribune in an email that they have been informed that a payment has been received by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) office in Sudan.
However, the money has not yet reached the UN headquarters, Del Buey said and as such he could not confirm the amount.
Sudan’s ambassador, Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman, said this month that because his country is unable to obtain or maintain a bank account in New York as a result of US sanctions, they make payments through the UN’s resident coordinator in Khartoum.
Khartoum’s foreign ministry blamed the loss of its voting rights on the finance ministry which ignored its requests for money to pay its UN obligations.
But an official at the finance ministry responded, saying they had other spending priorities.
The head of the Foreign Relations Committee at the Sudanese parliament, Mohamed al-Hassan al-Amin, labelled the UN’s move to bar Sudan from voting “politically motivated”.
His remarks drew rare criticism from the pro-government Sudan Vision newspaper which said in an editorial “it became phenomena for our politicians to resort to conspiracy theory and its pretext to justify their damaging failures”.
Sudan lost three-quarters of its oil production when South Sudan became independent in July 2011, worsening an economic crisis as oil was the government’s main source of revenue, providing the cash flow to fund food imports and other basic items.
Last summer, the government launched a package of tough austerity measures, including scaling back of fuel subsidies to close a fiscal gap, sparking short-lived protests.
The central bank has also devalued the Sudanese pound, which had been in freefall on the black market since the South’s secession.