By: Ahmed Alhaj (Site Admin)
August 24, 2010 (KHARTOUM) — The governor of Sudan’s central bank Sabir Mohamed Al-Hassan moved swiftly on Tuesday to refute allegations made by the Government of South Sudan (GoSS) relating to the disbursement of the South’s share in oil exports.
Under the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), the north and south are to to split oil revenues equally, with the national unity government in Khartoum transferring the share in foreign currency.
David Deng Athorbei, the regional minister of finance and economic planning revealed on Monday that the South has recently been receiving its share in local currency which is contrary to the peace agreement.
He accused the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) of deliberately doing this in order to undermine South Sudan economy and scare off investors.
The GoSS official said that this situation created a shortage in hard currency in the banking system and curtailed its ability to import materials and equipments from abroad.
GoSS president Salva Kiir has reportedly sent a letter to president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir urging him to reverse the the practice of paying remittances in local currency.
But the governor of Sudan’s Central bank dismissed the claims by GoSS saying that the central government never transferred oil revenue in local currency to the South since signing the CPA.
Al-Hassan further revealed that the operational balance of the central bank branch in the South is $726 million saying that this twice the amount what the North branch has.
Under the CPA, there is one central bank in Sudan with two branches in the North and South. They are under the authority of the Khartoum based governor.
The governor said that the GoSS is interfering in the policies of the Southern branch of the central bank as if it is a entity separate from the North, describing this as a violation of the CPA. He added that this issue has been resolved through a written agreement with GoSS that preserved the independence of the Southern branch.
But the GoSS backtracked on the agreement and resumed its interference "bringing us back to square one," Al-Hassan said.
Al-Hassan suggested that GoSS statements are meant to strengthen its position with international backing to gain concessions in the post-referendum negotiations with the NCP.
The referendum on southern independence is a key provision of a 2005 peace deal which ended a more than two-decade war between north and south Sudan, a conflict in which two million people were killed.
Most observers expect an overwhelming vote by Southerners for independence from the North driven by bitter memories of the civil war and feeling of marginalization by the Arab-Muslim dominated North.
The NCP and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) are engaged in talks on thorny post-referendum issues including nationality, national debt, water agreements and border demarcation.
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