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Sudan Tribune

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UN agrees to pay salaries of Sudanese local staff in US dollars

February 13, 2016 (KHARTOUM) -The United Nations leadership in New York has interfered to address the dispute over how its agencies and missions should pay salaries of its Sudanese local staff, reliable sources told Sudan Tribune.

A worker counts US dollar bills inside a money changer in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum (Photo: Reuters)
A worker counts US dollar bills inside a money changer in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum (Photo: Reuters)
Sudanese staff threatened to strike in protest against the lack of response to their repeated demands to be paid in US dollar instead of the Sudanese pound.

A local staff member at one of the UN peace missions told Sudan Tribune on Friday that the strike would include local employees at the hybrid peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) and the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) as well as the local workers at the UN agencies in Sudan.

Well-informed sources disclosed on Saturday that the UN leadership in New York has shown an initial approval to pay the salaries of the local employees in US dollar, pointing that the strike would more likely be cancelled accordingly.

In November 2015, 250 UNISFA national staff in Khartoum, the capital of South Kordofan state Kadugli and Dafra area, 30 kilometers north of Abyei went on strike demanding their salaries to be paid in US dollars instead of the faltering Sudanese pound just like their colleagues in South Sudan.

The move was motivated by the country’s high inflation rate and the fall of the Sudanese pound (SDG) following the secession of South Sudan and the austerity measures implemented to reduce Sudan’s budget deficit.

The UN had previously rejected a proposal to pay half of the salaries of the local staff in US dollars.

It is worth mentioning that the UN calculates the US dollar for the local staff at the rate of 3.9 Sudanese pounds, which is lower than the official exchange rate of 6.5 pounds. The price of the US dollar in the black market amounts to 11.8 pounds.

(ST).