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Sudan confirms loss of UN voting rights

Egypt's southern neighbour loses right to vote at UN after failing to pay fees to international body

Ahram Online , Thursday 31 Jan 2013
Heavily armed police patrol Khartoum's main streets, January 30, 2011. (Photo: Reuters)

The Sudanese foreign ministry confirmed on Thursday that it had forfeited its voting rights at the United Nations for failing to fulfil its financial obligations to the international body.

Khartoum, along with another 15 UN member states, is set to forfeit its voting rights because the government failed to pay some $348,000 in fees to the global body, Egyptian state news agency MENA reported.

According to news agency UPI, Sudanese Ambassador to the United Nations Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman stated that Sudan had fully paid its 2012 dues and would soon transfer those for 2013.

Prices have soared in Sudan since South Sudan seceded in 2011, taking with it three-quarters of the country's oil output. Petroleum was Sudan's main source of foreign currency, which it needs to support the Sudanese pound and pay for food and other strategic imports.

Sudan cut fuel subsidies and took other austerity measures in June in hopes of plugging a government budget gap.

The move ignited a series of small anti-government demonstrations, but these petered out after a security crackdown and the beginning of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

The IMF recommended that Sudan continue with reforms, which it said were "an important step toward restoring macroeconomic stability and reducing the economy's dependence on oil."

The global monetary institution pointed out that tensions along the border with South Sudan could lead to an increase in military spending and impose additional pressures on the already-strained budget.

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