By William Madouk Garang
Immigration officers under verification unit at Directorate of Civil Registry, Nationality, Passport and Immigration (DCRNPI), are asked to be wary not to issue national identification documents to foreigners.
Director General of DCRNPI, Lt. Gen. Atem Marol Biar made the cautious remark on Friday, directing officers at verification section at NC department to be very vigilant when carrying out their duties.
“I am directing all the immigration officers who make the verification process for the documents to be very careful in verification to avoid issuing our document to the people who do not deserve it [foreigners],” Biar stressed.
He also requested government officials to reduce the request of visa on arrival, adding that foreigners should do verification at country’s Embassies that exist in their own-countries.
“And if there are critical or urgent issue for someone who needs a visa upon arrival, you need to inform us a week to enable us make the verification process,” he suggested.
General Biar further called on states and foreign mission of South Sudan to submit their lists to department of ICT this Monday, so that their passport would be issued.
Still, it’s not yet clear why the Immigration boss is warning of issuance of national documents to aliens but two years ago social media uncovered a Lebanese citizen having South Sudanese passport which sparked government criticism nationwide.
Lebanese –South Sudanese
Unconfirmed reports in 2020, took to social media accusing the Ministry of Interior of selling national documents to foreigners for as low as $100, without due process that is always required by law when giving nationality to foreigners
Just days after denying that the government is not selling citizenship to foreigners for a few dollars, Ministry of Interior came under public criticism because a Lebanese citizen Hamzeh Ahmed, carrying South Sudan passport, and perhaps with nationality.
The then Director-General Lt. Gen. John Akot, denied the reports and asked the public to report foreigners found to be carrying South Sudan nationality.
“I have not heard of this. South Sudan can’t be sold out with a hundred dollar, these cases are not there because there are procedures in place,” he said.
General Akot however admitted that the Directorate had last year arrested some criminals who he said were found selling out national documents as well as residency permits to foreigners.
“We found a group of criminals operating last year in Nimule and we apprehended them. They used to print false documents such as nationality. They were found and our team managed to arrest them,” the top Immigration officer noted.
“If you find any foreigner with South Sudanese nationality, it will not be a real nationality; it must be a fake one. If you find anyone, don’t leave him, get his name and come to me. We will send our crime officers and summon him to our office,” he advised.
What native law says!
South Sudan’s nationality law which was adopted immediately after independence in July 2011 states in its Article 8 that:
“(1) A person born before or after this Act has entered into force shall be considered a South Sudanese National by birth if such person meets any of the following requirements— (a) any Parents, grandparents or great-grandparents of such a person, on the male or female line, were born in South Sudan; or (b) such person belongs to one of the indigenous ethnic communities of South Sudan.
“A person shall be considered a South Sudanese National by birth, if at the time of the coming into force of this Act— (a) he or she has been domiciled in South Sudan since 1.1.1956; or (b) if any of his or her parents or grandparents have been domiciled in South Sudan since 1.1.1956.
(3) A person born after the commencement of this Act, shall be a South Sudanese National by birth if his or her father or mother was a South Sudanese National by birth or naturalization at the time of the birth of such a person.
(4) A person who is or was first found in South Sudan as a deserted infant of unknown Parents shall, until the contrary is proved, be deemed to be a South Sudanese National by birth.”