Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. He has fired Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour after he complained that Sudanese diplomats abroad had been unpaid for months. AFP PHOTO | ASHRAF SHAZLY
21 April 2018
President Omar al-Bashir on Thursday fired Sudan's Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour, state media reported, after he said that Sudanese diplomats abroad had been unpaid for months.
In a speech to lawmakers on Wednesday, Ghandour, who negotiated the lifting of decades-old sanctions with Washington in October 2017, said his ministry had also been unable to pay rents for several Sudanese diplomatic missions due to a government cash shortfall.
"President Omar al-Bashir issued this evening a decree sacking Professor Ibrahim Ghandour from his post of minister of foreign affairs," the official SUNA news agency reported quoting the decree.
Sudan has been facing financial difficulties amid an acute shortage of hard foreign currency that has seen the east African country's economic crisis worsen.
"For months Sudanese diplomats have not received salaries and there is also a delay in paying rent for diplomatic missions," Ghandour told lawmakers, without specifying which ones.
Ghandour said he himself had been in touch with the governor of the central bank but has failed to secure funds to pay the diplomats.
"The situation has now turned dangerous, which is why I am talking about it publicly," he said.
Ghandour said there was a feeling among some government officials that paying wages to diplomats and rent for diplomatic missions were not a priority.
"Some ambassadors and diplomats want to return to Khartoum now... because of the difficulties faced by them and their families," he said.
Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour, in Khartoum, on april 5, 2018. (AFP)