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Losing old pounds

South sudanese pounds
Last week the Republic of South Sudan introduced its new currency, the South Sudan pound.  Despite North Sudan's agreement to wait on creating any new currency until 6 months after the South's unveiling, North Sudan has gone ahead with their own new Sudan pound this week. 

When I was in Sudan in 2005, the country was still using dinars (symbolic of Arab countries).  Shortly after north/south 2005 peace talks, the country switched back in 2007 to the Sudanese pound (used after Britain's empirical rule of Sudan).  These recent events would retire the four year old Sudanese pound and replace it with the North's and South's new currencies.

While the North says its new currency should have no financial impact on the South's new pound, the South claims it will lose money due to constrains on converting it's old pounds.  The South had planned on using foreign banks to convert the old pound over time, instead of exchanging it with the North's banks. 

There will be many economic challenges in the future for both countries to resolve.  Time will tell if both are able to work together to move forward.

You can read more in this post from The Official Blog of Amb. David H. Shinn.

Southern Sudan's independence

Republic of Southern Sudan  
Africa's Sudan has endured a tulmultuous six year struggle since the 20 year North-South civil war ended with a peace agreement that was signed in 2005.  This Saturday, the world will see another historic moment when The Republic of South Sudan offically succeeds from the North.  Southern Sudanese voted 99% for the succession.  Large oil discoveries, in the South, during the last decade made matters even more complicated as the country always seemed to be on the verge of another civil war.

Washinton Post article

My thoughts and prayers go out to friends there. 

civil unrest in khartoum

The recent accidental tragedy of Vice President John Garang's death in a helicopter crash Saturday evening, (His death was confirmed Monday morning), which has caused an outbreak of violence in the city.  It appears Southerners in the outer areas of the city have taken to setting fires and causing senseless random attacks.  I witnessed a mass exodus of hundreds of people earlier yesterday morning as it appeared they were answering the call to demonstrate. Unfortunately, a group of people can sometimes not think in times of anger as clearly as one person. 

I have delayed my departure due to the events and am waiting to see how things go today.  Hopefully, the calls for calm after this tragic death of Garang will be heard. 

Three days of national morning have been called and Bush is sending peace envoys to help.


my first year

I haven't made an entry due to the glut of things to do before I leave Sudan. So one last entry before I hit the tarmac one last time.

Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice during her visit last week.

A stop at Khalifa's house to visit the museum I never thought I'd be able to make time to see. Look up Gordon and Sudan around the turn of 1900 and you'll find out more.

Emmanuel, Nadir, me, Abdalla, and Abubakar
-My best friends in Khartoum-

A few flashbacks . . Juggling for the kids at the Camel Market


What happens when everyone cleans a rug at the same time

My first year abroad with the Foriegn Service is over. I've made several friends and will miss them all, as I move on to my next post in Sydney. It was an amazing and enlightening year and I lack the words to do it justice. I wish everyone peace and blessings as I know Khartoum will stay in my heart as a place where the people are so very kind. God bless and I hope to come back soon to see Southern Sudan and more of this beautiful continent.

Regards, Dan Sweet - Diplomat