Sudan closes diplomatic missions in deep spending cuts
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Khartoum - Sudanese President Omar
al-Bashir has ordered the closure of 13 diplomatic missions and
most of Sudan's trade offices abroad, the state news agency
reported late on Wednesday, in a bid to cut government spending
amid serious economic woes.
Sudan has been largely cut off from international financing
in the past decades by U.S. sanctions. These were lifted in
October but since then Sudan has struggled to attract investors
to help prop up its flagging economy.
Last month Bashir sacked Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour,
one day after he asked parliament to step in and help Sudanese
diplomats who had not been paid their salaries in seven months.
In his decree issued on Wednesday Bashir ordered the foreign
ministry to implement a "foreign representation restructuring
It did not identify the missions that are due to close but
also includes cutting staff at seven missions down to just the
ambassadors, SUNA reported.
Sudan will also shut all its trade and economic offices
abroad, apart from the one in the United Arab Emirates capital
Abu Dhabi, which was kept open to finalise arrangements for
Sudan's participation at Dubai's Expo 2020, SUNA said.
Administrative staff would be cut by 20 percent, in addition
to a previous decision to cut staff by 30 percent, the agency
said. The decree also dismissed administrative staff at the
foreign ministry and diplomats were instructed to handle
Sudan devalued its currency earlier this year in a bid lure
back foreign investors. Since then the pound has plummeted to
about 35 to the U.S. dollar and inflation has jumped to over 50