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South Sudan Gov’t directs ordinary citizens to return diplomatic passports

By Bida Elly David

South Sudan government orders former officials and citizens, holding special and diplomatic passports to return them to foreign ministry, directorate of nationality, passport and immigration.

Acting minister of foreign Affairs Deng Dau Deng issued the directive on Wednesday, saying former officials and citizens no longer have any right of ownership of the documents.

“I would like to reiterate that any former official or any other person that has lost or has these particular passports is directed and requested to surrender them to the concerned authorities or ministries,” he said.

The minister said the concerned institutions, such as the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of foreign affairs authorities, should immediately implement the order without delays.

Mr. Dau said that there are specific groups of people entitled to have diplomatic passports for travel but not anybody, noting that they will publish the category in newspapers for public knowledge.

“We will publish in the newspaper the categories of people who are supposed to hold diplomatic, official, and special passports as defined by law,” he added.

The minister cited Passport Regulations 2011 and 2014, which clearly states who should hold the diplomatic passports in particular.

“We encourage our citizens who are holding these passports to surrender them to the director of nationality and migration in Juba,” the minister directed.

Citizens in the states, who possess the official passports, are ordered to surrender to offices of their respective governors meanwhile authorities in the three administrative areas are to receive the documents.

“For officials at the foreign ministry, you give it back to the deputy director general in the ministry of foreign affairs and protocol” the minister stressed.

Mr. Deng said that security personnel and the immigration offices at the airport were already alerted to restrict the passports and reclaim them.

“If you don’t have clearance from the ministry of foreign affairs, those passports will be claimed from you,” he said.

He called on the citizens to help the government clean up the image of the country so that their legacy remains positive in foreign countries.

Last week, the acting Foreign Affairs Minister Deng Dau was saddened by the illegal issuance of diplomatic cards to ordinary citizens.

He told the cabinet that a sizeable number of ordinary citizens have been issued the country’s official diplomatic passports, which is causing inconveniences to diplomats as they travel across the world.

The minister then asked for cabinet backing to enforce the law prohibiting the unauthorized issuance of diplomatic passports to ordinary citizens.




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