From April 9 onward about 700,000 south Sudanese citizens living in Khartoum and other northern regions will become “foreigners”, at least at the administrative level. According to the latest provisions of the Government in order to stay they will have to be resident or have a job that allows them secure a permit to stay.
The announcement comes six months after South Sudan’s independence from Khartoum, the result of a 20-year long civil war. According to the United Nations specialized agencies, the decision may make it difficult for thousands of South Sudanese who have lived many years in the north without having identity cards or passports. South Sudan has yet to open an embassy in Khartoum, as emphasized by Catholic radio stations in Sudan, which hinders the release of the documents necessary to legalize the status of the migrants.
Since independence. more than 350,000 people have returned to the South from Khartoum and other northern regions. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) launched yesterday the transfer by air to 400 people in difficulty, often elderly and disabled, to Juba, Wau and Aweil.