Juba, National, News

Immigration waives visa restriction for Sudanese escaping war

By William Madouk

Immigration department has decided to waive the visa requirement for Sudanese nationals who are fleeing war in Khartoum to South Sudan.

Director General of Directorate of Civil Registry, Nationality, Passport and Immigration, Lt-Gen Atem Marol Bair, said the directive follows international laws oblige to those fleeing in good faith.

“When those who are running from war enter another country, what can happen is hospitality and good reception,” Gen Biar said.

While addressing officers in parade on Monday, the boss of immigration called on the personnel to ease visa restrictions on war survivors.

“This morning, I directed all immigration officers at the border points to receive war victims without asking for visa payments,” he directed.

He added that in the situation of the war, people fleeing cannot be asked to pay for visa because it’s not a peaceful journey.

The Director General further urged other countries that may want their nationals to be evacuated via South Sudan to establish communication with foreign affairs and other local authorities.

According to him, foreigners who entered South Sudan, who are on transit should inform immigration department of the needed grace period before proceeding to their country of origins.

“We agreed with ambassadors who are here, they have to write their request to foreign Affairs,” boss of immigration stressed.

General Biar also called upon state authorities bordering Sudan to register and create refugee settlements to enable humanitarian organization to provide assistance.

He further warned people who try to come to Juba while they have a place to stay, acquaintance and relatives within their designated temporary shelters.

According to the latest report by the government, more than 50,000 people including returnees and refugees have crossed to South Sudan.

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs & Disaster Management, Albino Akol Atak stated that majority of those fleeing war have entered the country are South Sudanese returnees.

The violence that erupted between the military and the well-armed Rapid Support Forces (RSF), on 15 April triggered a humanitarian crisis forcing many to seek refuge in neighboring countries.

Despite sustained pressure from countries concerned by the conflict’s wider repercussions as well as the safety of their nationals, the two sides have not abided by a temporary truce.

As fighting calmed enough, some of the countries such as the United States went to get embassy staff out by military helicopter, triggering a rush of evacuations by others.


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