A Surprise from South Sudan

Sudan Modern Philately Revenues

Those who know me will not be surprised by the admission that my philatelic interests tend to gravitate towards "classics" - but once in a while, an intriguing bit of modern philately captures my attention.

South Sudan gained its independence from Sudan on June 9, 2011, and joined the Universal Postal Union in October of the same year - three months after it had issued its first stamps. These were gifts from the People's Republic of China, and an estimated 100,000 were printed by the Beijing Security Printers.

Yesterday, one of our frequent customers dropped in with an item for "show and tell" - a strip of five Rhinoceros stamps from South Sudan, a pair from which is shown above.

These were not the postage stamps described above, but rather crudely-printed revenue stamps, a strip of five being required to pay the 5SSP application fee for a post office box. Such strips are affixed directly onto the application form. While mail service apparently continues to be sporadic - and I have yet to see commercially used stamps of South Sudan - these stamps are a fascinating glimpse into a tumultuous period of contemporary postal history.

Has anyone received mail franked with stamps of South Sudan? If so, we'd love to see a scan!