East Africa: South Sudan Pays $3m Arrears Owed to EAC Bloc

South Sudan has reportedly paid $3 million of the $27 million it owes the East African Community Secretariat in annual membership fee arrears.

In an exclusive interview with The EastAfrican on Thursday, Mou Mou Athian, the under-secretary for EAC in South Sudan's Ministry of Trade and Industry confirmed that the payment had been made.

Mr Athian said that the payment was made by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and that it was received by the EAC Secretariat while he was still in Arusha. He said that the EAC Secretary-General Libérat Mfumukeko personally confirmed that the money had been received.

Payment plan

Mr Athian however did not say when the balance of arrears will be paid.

The Secretariat had threatened to kick South Sudan out of the regional bloc over failure to pay its annual contributions.

Earlier this month, the EAC Council of Ministers approved a resolution to sanction and append South Sudan from the regional bloc if it failed to meet its annual obligations.

The Secretariat had given Juba a grace period of 18 months to pay but the country failed to meet the deadline.

"A debt of $24 million still remains but a schedule on how the payment will be made has been drawn. I don't have the details at the moment but the Finance Ministry's planning department should know," said Mr Athian.

South Sudan owes cash to regional, international and global bodies it belongs to, including the African Union.

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