The East African economic bloc, Inter-governmental Authority on Development (Igad) has suspended South Sudan over unpaid dues.
South Sudan’s Information Minister Michael Makuei in Juba, said on Friday, “It is worth mentioning that we have been suspended from Igad because of unpaid dues. Moreover, there were 15 vacancies which we were supposed to occupy.”
Makuei explained further that “The Foreign Affairs minister made a presentation to the Cabinet requesting the payment of all the dues. A resolution was passed three weeks ago directing all the arrears be paid by the Finance Ministry.”
He added that the Foreign Affairs minister had been requested to collaborate with the Finance ministry for further discussions.
He, however, did not specify how much money South Sudan owes the regional bloc. A letter by Igad dated September 16 and addressed to President Salva Kiir stated that the country had accumulated $9,782, 635.
The East African Legislative Assembly in August last year, passed a motion to censure South Sudan for defaulting on its annual payment, recommending that the Council of Ministers take further action against the country. By that time, South Sudan owed the Community more than $24 million.
Igad helped midwife the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that brought independence to South Sudan and has continued to play a pivotal role in providing and mobilising all the necessary political, technical and material support in the quest for peace, stability, and nation building in South Sudan.
Member states include Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Somalia, and Uganda. South Sudan joined the Igad in 2011. Recent reports suggest that South Sudan’s government owes other regional and world bodies like the East African Community, the United Nations, and African Union membership fees.