4th August 2020
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MP worried about another ’embarrassing’ fee arrears

Author: Nana Alfred | Published: Thursday, July 2, 2020

East African Legislators during a session in Arusha, Tanzania in June, 2017 | Credit | EALA

A lawmaker has expressed concern that South Sudan will likely be sanctioned if it does not remit its financial contributions to the East African Community.

South Sudan is expected to pay $8 million in 2020 financial year.

In mid-October 2019, the country paid only $3 million as part of the $27 million membership fee arrears owed to the region.

If the government failed to pay, the debt to the region would reach up to $33 million.

The East African Community’s Council of Ministers adopted a resolution to sanction and suspend South Sudan from the regional bloc if it fails to meet its obligations.

“We urge our colleague Hon. Minister Garang Salvatore to pay this amount. We don’t want to have any kind of embarrassment in the regional bloc because South Sudan needs EAC,” Hon Gai told Eye Radio.

The regional bloc constitution requires member states to make their payments annually.

Hon. Kim Gai, South Sudan representative to EALA, appealed to the Ministry of Finance to pay the arrears to the regional economic bloc on time.

“The sanction applies to any country that does not pay the money within 18 months,” he said, citing the constitution.

“So, we need to pay that money before the sanctions apply to our country.”

South Sudan also owes continental and international bodies, including the African Union and aviation groups millions of dollars in unpaid membership fees.

In June, it was briefly suspended from attending AU meetings for failing to pay its arrears.

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