Sudan President Omar Al Bashir
Sudan President Omar Al Bashir

Sudan closes diplomatic missions in deep spending cuts

By Reuters Time of article published May 4, 2018

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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

plan".

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

administrative duties.

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

percent.

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