News, Northern Bahr el-ghazal

Gov’t urged to take National IDs closer to citizens

By Hou Akot Hou


A civil society activist and an advocate in Aweil, Northern Bahr El Ghazal State, have appealed to the government to establish immigration centers closer to the citizens so they can acquire national identification documents.

The Department of Civil Registry Nationality, Passports, and Immigration is the department under the Ministry of Interior that is responsible for the issuance of national IDs and passports in the country.

However, the directorate has limited centers across the country that citizens can access to process their national documents.

Most citizens get their IDs processed in Juba at the immigration headquarters, which often makes them go through hurdles.

However, the activist and advocate Jokdit Gar, urged the government to take the services closer to the people to acquire national ID cards to help them access opportunities.

Activist Gar, who works for Aweil’s Civic Engagement Centre in Northern Bahr El Ghazal, was speaking over Akol Yaam FM in a live radio talk show on Friday evening.

Gar noted that many people across the state are found to have no IDS, as some see it as a no-brainer decision to spend money on acquiring a nationality ID.

However, he explained that one could not afford to lease land, for example, if he or she did not have a nationality ID card.

“There are a lot of issues that ignite a strong impulse or urge so that one can be bothered to have it,” he said.

“One of these is if your relative or a friend is arrested and you need to bail him or her, how would you do that? It can be likely for the police authorities to ask you to present your ID,” Gar exemplified.

“As you might have seen, some youth who want to be cleaners or watchmen are being asked to present their IDs, including those going for scholarships, so this is vital,” he cited.

No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper established that the States does not have a national ID production center, but officials only collect details of applicants for the cards by filling out the forms, and once they fill up, the data is carried to Juba for production, which takes a long time.

Bulis Nguak, an advocate who was co-hosted together with activist Gar in Friday’s radio live talk show, appealed to the state government to expedite the procedures of having at least a center in the state for the production of the national IDs.

“There is a lot that the state government has to embark on. Despite the ignorance of our people about the importance of IDs, there is a big mishap here,” said Nguak.

According to him, only Aweil Town and Aweil East Counties in Northern Bahr El Ghazal State have immigration directorate centers for collecting nationality ID details from applicants, adding that the rest of the counties lack such centers.

“This poses challenges to the people in the far-flung areas to spend a lot on coming and finishing up the procedures in town,” said Nguak.

Advocate Nguak revealed that there are some people who shared their ordeals of trying to acquire the national documents but waited for good.

He said they (applicants) have waited for ages to get their processed national ID cards, but all in vain, and nobody has given them answers.

Mr. Nguak, however, acknowledged the challenges the national government is struggling with, including the lack of machines for processing the IDs.

But he also stressed that there is a need for the government, especially the Ministry of Interior, to work out a way of establishing immigration centers in the states where all interested and willing citizens can process their national IDs.

The advocate emphasized that it is time for people to follow suit with the law, as the law requires everyone to acquire national documents as a citizen.

Many people across the state, even the elderly, don’t have birth certificates or age assessment certificates, let alone a nationality card.

Comments are closed.