Sudanese «Foreign Affairs» and «Finance»: Disputes regarding diplomatic missions «1-4»
An «AlTaghyeer» led investigation revealed new hidden details regarding the crisis that erupted between the Sudanese Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Finance due to the former’s decision to appoint accountants and legal auditors in all diplomatic missions abroad.
AlTaghyeer’s sources confirmed that there are great attempts to pressure the Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs to accept the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning’s decision to represent the finance staff—including accountants and internal auditors—in all diplomatic missions.
Failure to recognize the decision, according to the sources, could lead to a permanent suspension of all mission salaries.
The sources information described what they referred to as a “lobby” between the accountants and what was described “Kizaniyah unit”* that works in coordination with the remnants of the former regime.
Finance sources accused the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of reducing only the number of accountants accompanying missions, and sending back administrators according to their wishes.
However, AlTaghyeer‘s investigations found that the Foreign Affairs ministry reduced its missions in all embassies, and even called off a number of embassies.
It is reported that the Finance’s decision stressed that only accountants and internal auditors are allowed to use the electronic collection system according to the text of the directives of the Transitional Council of Ministers.
Accusations of Corruption
AlTaghyeer conducted an extensive investigation into this issue—to be published later—during which many facts were revealed concerning accusations leveled at influential people in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs accused of obstructing the appointment of accountants and auditors for the purpose of concealing irregularities.
AlTaghyeer also obtained documents and papers from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs revealing the extent of financial corruption that was seized in diplomatic missions in the year 2018, and the perpetrators of it, in detail and according to jobs.
The documented investigation revealed that the accusations were not only unfounded, but that most of those accused of financial corruption throughout the previous years have been accountants and financial auditors.
During AlTaghyeer’s investigation, accusations were directed against the Minister of Foreign Affairs by some accountants.
Maryam al-Sadiq al-Mahdi, the Sudanese Minister of Foreign Affairs, was accused of travelling a lot abroad for a travel per diem amounting to a thousand dollars per day.
However, AlTaghyeer contacted the Administrative and Accounting Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Minister’s office, and it became clear to the newspaper that al-Mahdi donates her entire salary and travel per diem to employees and retired ambassadors.
However, there are other differences between some diplomats and the Minister of Foreign Affairs related to managing and conducting the ministry’s business.
The investigation revealed the nature of the difficult conditions Sudan’s missions abroad were living under, with some having not received salaries for 17 months.
A diplomatic source in one of the country’s missions in Europe told AlTaghyeer that the Sudanese missions in Korea and Italy had not paid rent for the mission’s headquarters and the ambassador’s residence, and that they had arrears of services amounting to an additional «12,000» euros on top of rent.
The source stated that they did not pay the salaries of the local workers who are in the process of resorting to the judiciary, and that the new administrative director is threatened with expulsion from the housing for not paying, in addition to the fact that the Minister Plenipotentiary and the Chancellor have not settled in housing until now and live in hotels and have arrears.
The source also said that the Ministry of Finance insisted that accountants be attached to it in all diplomatic missions, based on the principle of the ministry’s jurisdiction over public money.
“In spite of that, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has a different vision that not all diplomatic missions need an accountant,” the ministry declared.
“For example, in some countries there are Sudanese missions, but there is no Sudanese community; therefore, the mission does not have significant revenues.”
Investigation by Qusai Magdy Selim, Alaa El-Din Musa, Al-Fadil Ibrahim, Sarah Taj El-Sir, Awad Jad El-Siid