South Sudan joins Universal Postal Union

South Sudan has become the 192nd member of the Universal Postal Union, the UN-affiliated umbrella group of countries seeking to provide an international universal postal network. The Republic of South Sudan, previously a self-governing region of Sudan following the end of civil war in 2005, was declared an independent state in July, and has already become a member of the United Nations and African Union.

The UPU issued a statement from its headquarters in Berne, Switzerland, yesterday confirming that the new country’s membership of the postal union became official on Tuesday (October 4), following an official request to join from the South Sudanese government.

Edouard Dayan, director general at the UPU, said the union was pleased to welcome the new country into the “global postal family”.

Dayan said: “The postal network is an important infrastructure that helps respond to inhabitants’ communication needs as well as a country’s socioeconomic development.

“We will be delighted to work with government and postal officials to help them develop their national postal network and provide technical and regulatory advice,” added the UPU director-general.

One of the poorest countries in the world, South Sudan is a landlocked country comprising about a third of the area of the former Sudan, with a mainly rural population thought to be around 8.3m.

The country is in the process of setting up its telecommunications and postal system under Minister for Communication and Postal Services Madut Biar Yel, who promised back in July to renovate old post offices and start up dedicated postal services that would include mail, parcel and money transfer services.

In the mean time, postal services are continuing to depend to a large extent on the Sudanese service.

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