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Sudan central bank governor resigns

Move comes as north and south negotiate splitting crippling debt and new currency

Reuters , Monday 7 Mar 2011
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The governor of Sudan's central bank Sabir Mohammad al-Hassan has resigned and is due to step down on Monday, the Central Bank of Sudan said in a statement.

Hassan said his resignation was not caused by any divisions in his economic team but insisted "the reasons behind not wanting to renew his contract is his age and the length of time he has spent in this post which he described as arduous," according to the statement.

The move, long rumoured, is likely to spark concern in Sudan which is preparing to split in two on 9 July, after southerners overwhelmingly voted to secede in a referendum in January.

Northern and southern leaders are still locked in negotiations over how they will handle the country's crippling near US$40 billion debt after separation and manage the south's plan to introduce a new currency.

The statement said Hassan, 65, had been in the job for 16 years and had overseen the switching of the country's dinar currency to the Sudanese pound after the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement ended decades of civil war between north and south Sudan and promised the independence referendum.

The bank said Hassan had handed his resignation to President Omar Hassan al-Bashir in December and would step down at the end of his contract, which came on Monday.

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