African Union suspends South Sudan after failure to pay annual contribution

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JUBA, June 20 (Xinhua) -- The African Union (AU) has suspended South Sudan from the continental body after Juba failed to pay its annual contributions amounting to over 9 million U.S. dollars.

South Sudan's mission to Ethiopia wrote to the country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday informing its government that the east African country was sanctioned after it failed to pay financial contributions for three consecutive years.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday confirmed the suspension of South Sudan from the pan African body.

Hakim Edward, deputy Foreign Affairs Spokesperson, said the sanctions do not deprive South Sudan of its AU membership but it only suspends the country from participating in AU meetings.

"We would like to confirm to the public that South Sudan is one of the countries that have been sanctioned by the AU due to lack of yearly financial contributions," Edward said in a statement issued on Friday night.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs would like to assure the public that it is coordinating with the ministry of finance to resolve the matter not only with the AU but with other regional bodies," he added.

South Sudan became the 54th member of the African Union on July 27, 2011. Enditem

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