Home | News    Tuesday 19 July 2011

South Sudan’s new currency launched amidst concerns over omission of date

July 19, 2011 (JUBA) – The new currency for the newly born nation of the
Republic of South Sudan was officially launched on Monday by President Salva
Kiir Mayardit, amidst citizens concerns that the date on which the notes were
printed was not indicated.

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Men from South Sudan display new currency notes outside the Central Bank of South Sudan in Juba July 18, 2011. (Reuters)

Kiir was the first government official to change his old currency with the new
one at the premises of the Central Bank of South Sudan, accompanied by the
caretaker minister of finance and economic planning, David Deng Athorbei, and
the bank’s governor, Elijah Malok.

In his speech, President Kiir called on the citizens to change their money. He
also called on those that have banked their money abroad to repatriate it to
South Sudan.

The bank’s governor, Elijah Malok, on Sunday during his launch of a book on the
history of the Dinka community, downplayed the rising concerns of the people on
the lack of date in the new currency, saying even the British currency doesn’t
have dates. He said only the serial numbers would be indicated on the notes of
the currency.

A number of citizens in Juba that spoke to the Sudan Tribune welcomed the new
currency, but however expressed their concerns over the “deliberate” omission of
the date on which the currency was printed.

“I am happy that we now have our own currency despite some of my observations in
the design of the currency itself,” said David Lemi.

“However, my main immediate concern is why the deliberate omission of the year
2011 in which the new currency was printed?” he inquired, adding that the date
was important to identify the notes printed in that particular year should need
arise in the near future to check on any defect or counterfeiting on the
currency of that particular year.

Nhial Tut wondered how the government and ordinary people would know the serial
numbers printed on notes in 2011 and those that will be printed in 2012 and

“First, I ask myself why did the bank officials choose to print a currency
without a date in the first place when most of the nations in the world
including the US have inserted dates in their currencies,” Nhial asked.

“Bank governor [Elijah Malok] should not compare this economically fragile
one-week old Republic of South Sudan to the British government which has been
there for centuries and already secured a stable economy free from corruption,”
he continued, adding that the people would never know through endless serial
numbers how much money is printed in 2011 or which serial number will be printed
first in 2012.

“I hope the government officials responsible for the printing of the new
currency left out the date in good faith, otherwise why would they choose to
omit the date of the currency?” asked Aleu. “When I looked at the currency I
couldn’t tell whether the notes were printed in 1972, 2005 or 2011,” he said,
adding that the situation would easily invite a foul play in the process of
sequential printing of the money and urged the officials to correct it.