Sudanese also become aliens in South Sudan
JUBA (April 10, 2012) – Sudanese residing in South Sudan effectively became foreigners Tuesday, thanks to Khartoum’s reluctance to sign a deal with Juba that would have granted Sudanese nationals in South Sudan rights similar to those enjoyed by South Sudanese.
South Sudan’s Ministry of Interior decided to label Sudanese citizens in South Sudan aliens a day after the authorities in Khartoum announced that as of April 10, 2012 they would treat South Sudanese in Sudan the way they treated any other foreigner.
Khartoum also said it expected South Sudanese in Sudan to comply with a series of measures such as obtaining valid South Sudanese passports or travel documents and visas.
In response, South Sudan’s Ministry of Interior issued a statement on Tuesday signed by the minister, Alison Monani Magaya, which proclaimed that “all nationals of the Republic of Sudan are declared foreigners as of 9th April 2012.”
It added that “Sudanese nationals who are currently in the Republic of South Sudan shall be registered and provided with temporary stay documents free.”
The statement explained that “all Sudanese nationals are given time to correct their immigration status according to the laws government the presence of foreigners in the country.”
The Ministry pointed out that “all Sudanese nationals entering the Republic of South Sudan by land, air, river or railway are to produce entry visas.”
It further made it clear that “Sudanese nationals shall be accorded fair treatment and full respect in regard to their Human Rights.”
Juba and Khartoum on March 13 concluded a “Framework Agreement on the Status of Nationals of the Other State and Related Matters” after lengthy negotiations in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa that were mediated by the African Union High Implementation Panel (AUHIP).
The Agreement was designed to grant citizens of South Sudan and Sudan the freedom to reside, move, undertake economic activity and acquire and dispose of property freely in each others’ country.
President Salva Kiir and Sudan’s Omar El-Bashir were scheduled to meet in Juba on April 3 to put their signatures on the Agreement and to try to thrash out other sticking points in post-independence negotiations, but Khartoum’s belligerence sabotaged the visit and signing the deal.
DOWNLOAD THE PRESS RELEASE FROM ROSS MINISTRY OF INTERIOR (2012 04 Status of Sudanese Nationals in South Sudan)