ME and Ophelia

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

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Rumbek may be capital of autonomous southern Sudan

July 19: When the (still to be finalised) Peace Accords take effect, the "New Sudan" will have its own currency: the New Sudan Pound (NSP).

It will also have its own flag, license plates and a system for the collection of taxes.

Under the provisions of the July 2002 accords signed (and still being negotiated* - the south of Sudan will benefit from a six-year interim period of autonomy before its citizens vote on whether or not to remain part of Sudan.

Rumbek is likely to become the capital of the autonomous southern Sudan.

"Hundred and two hundred notes of the NSP have already been printed and 10, 20 and 50 NSP coins are ready," said the manager of the Nile Commercial Bank which opened its doors in Rubek on May 30. So far, the bank has no computers, telephone lines or electricity, but 60 people have opened an account.

Currently, transactions in the southern part of the country are conducted in Kenyan and Ugandan shillings and American dollars, but never in the Sudan dinar, the legal tender of the northern part of the country.

Very few countries allow the circulation of more than one currency, the very symbol of national sovereignty. "We are going to be like China," said Samson Arap, manager of the bank, explaining that the Hong Kong and Taiwanese dollars and the Chinese yuan are all accepted currencies in the world's largest country.

# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 7/21/2004
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