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Traders arrested for allegedly rejecting SSP 1 denomination

1 Pound note and coins

Five traders in Tonj have been arrested for allegedly rejecting one South Sudanese denomination for purchase of their goods, according to the town Mayor.

In the area, the cheapest commodity costs five pounds.

Joseph Anei Madoor said the traders implicated are in custody and will be arraigned in local courts to answer the charges.

“Our bench court will be able give a fine or warning so that they actually stop refusing our local currencies,” Mr Anei said.

He said those proved guilty may be fined not less than 1000 South Sudanese pounds each.

“My message is that this one pound note is our local currency produced by our national Ministry of Finance and by government of South Sudan; so we will have no reason of refusing our own currency,” Mr Anei added.

Traders on their hand say they accept the one pound notes and that it is the customers who often refuse to take SSP 1 as change.

“We accept the 1 pound. It is the customers who usually refuse, and when you insist on giving them the pound, they go and report us to the police,” a trader operating in Tonj main market complained.

Mohamed Hassan said they receive the notes, store them and later take them to the bank in Wau.

The South Sudanese Pound was introduced on 18 July 2011, replacing the Sudanese Pound.

It is subdivided into 100 piasters; the National Legislative Assembly approved it before the independence in July 2011.

There are six different denominations (1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 pounds).

Last year, the Bank of South Sudan issued a 20 South Sudanese pound banknote to replace the 25 South Sudanese pound banknote which is still circulating in the markets.

It later introduced into the market coins in form of 10 piaster, 20 piasters & 50 piasters, 1 pound, 2 pounds.

However, the coins are rarely used for transactions nation-wide.

With the crunch in the economy, the 1 pound value can no longer purchase any commodity in the market.