Addis Ababa- Ethiopia (PANA) -- The number of African Union (AU) member countries facing sanction for unpaid financial contributions has risen from 12 in July 2006 to 18 this month, according to sources close to the contributions sub-committee.
The debtor-nations, which could lose their voting rights include Cape Verde, the Central African Republic, DR Congo, Eritrea, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mauritania, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Somalia, Côte d'Ivoire and Gabon.
Cote d'Ivoire had escaped sanction in 2006 after paying its contribution just before the summit in Banjul, Gambia.
Diplomatic sources said the financial situation could affect the organisation's 2007 budget being discussed by the Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC), with some countries such as Egypt and Algeria objecting to proposed increase of their contributions.
But the sources believe the Committee is expected to reach a consensus on the issue.