Only 20% of South Sudanese population have national IDs-official

The Director General of Directorate of Civil Registry, Nationality, Passport and Immigration, Lt. Gen. Atem Marol Biar (photo: courtesy)

By William Madouk Garang

People of South Sudan are lacking basic proof of national identity; out of an estimated population of 12 million people in the country only 20 percent are reportedly having legal identification documents.

The Directorate of Civil Registry, Nationality, Passport and Immigration (DCRNPI), said majority of people are not well informed about the significance of having national identity.

The statement was made during International Identity Day which was celebrated in Juba for first time on Friday. The D-Day observed annually on Sept 16, aimed at making awareness about important of IDs.

Boss of DCRNPI, Lt. Gen Atem Marol Biar said more than one billion people worldwide are lacking basic proof document in which South Sudan is among them, assuring that all will have IDs by 2030.

“We have decided to celebrate this day on the 16th of September each year as to be a reference to the UN sustainable global development goal 16.9 which says by 2030 provides legal identity for all, including birth registration,” Biar said.

He called upon all state authorities, all relevant government institutions to stand with them and support to achieve the global aim for people to acquire legal documents.

“There is a need for us to have   identity and I use to say this every day. The world has so far gone ahead of us and we remain behind,” he urged.

The DCRNPI Director-General urged partners to support the directorate to conduct awareness outreach to people in the country’s ten states and three administrative areas about the importance of national IDs and its privileges.  

Meanwhile, Director of ICT, Col. Kuc Koor Kuc said the idea was initiated by an NGO known as ID4Africa, asserting that the Country is still lagging behind.

“When we put ourselves in the list of the people [countries] who are having identity, in South Sudan we are very bad and we are really very far behind,” Kuc lamented.

“From the number which is 12 million people population of South Sudan – only 20 percent of people are having national Ids,” he assured.

For his part, Amb Joshua Franco Paul who works at Directorate of Consular Affairs at national ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation thanked immigration for making people understand the vital of celebrating the day.

“It’s through this identity that you will uphold yourself as a true sons and daughters of South Sudan,” Amb. Paul noted.

“Identity is a milestone of each and every human being in his/her own country. Identity is important in such a way that without identity you will not have even nationalism,” he added.

Ambassador Paul stressed that the spirit of nationalism comes as recognition of one’s own identity – showing his belongingness to a particular country and region.

International Identity Day has been there since 2018, it’s celebrated every Sept 16 – it calls for legal identity for all by 2030 and attributed to UN sustainable Development Goal 16.9.

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