May 9, 2011 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan is set to launch a high-tech civil registry project on 16 May, targeting vital events of 16 million of the country’s population as well as foreign residents
- Photo taken from the website of Sudan’s civil registry authority
In a report presented to the council of ministers last month, Sudan’s Minister of Interior Ibrahim Mahmoud said that all financial and technical preparations had been completed to commence the process on Monday, 16 May.
According to Mahmoud, whose ministry will maintain the registry, the technical arrangements include advanced registration methods and an ameliorated system of personal ID and civil fingerprint as well as the establishment of the registry’s communication network through optical fiber cables.
The minister further said that the process targets the registration of eight million people by the end of 2011, out of a total target population of 16 million people.
The registration would take place at 32 centers across the country, including seven stations in the densely-populated capital, Khartoum, in addition to 1024 mobile registration units, the minister said.
Meanwhile, the director-general of the civil registry department at the ministry of interior, Maj-Gen Mohamed Ahmad Al-Sayyed, said that the project targets the registration of both locals and foreigners, but added that only Sudanese citizens would be entitled to receive a national ID number.
In an interview with Sudan’s state-run radio, the civil registry chief stressed that granting the national ID card to people from south Sudan would be subject to “political considerations.”
He added that the nationality law gives the president the right to revoke the citizenship of groups and individuals if their citizenship is acquired or gained at birth.
Citizens of South Sudan voted overwhelmingly in a referendum held in January to secede from the main homeland and form an independent state whose official existence is due in July 2010. The plebiscite was part of the 2005 peace agreement which ended decades of north-south civil wars.
Al-Sayyed said that the civil registry project had benefited from the database provided by the 2008’s census. However, he said that several other state apparatus would act as a reference of database, such as the Ministry of Education through obliging students wishing to acquire secondary school certificates to record their information with the civil registry.
The official further revealed that his administration aims to increase the seven permanent registration sites in Khartoum to 50 centers in 2012.
The Ministry of Interior announced that the acquisition of the national ID card would be compulsory to all citizens for them to receive state-rendered services, including school registration, banking transaction, driving licenses and passports.
The ministry further said that the new national ID card would be forgery-proof, using various biometric authentication methods, including laser-printed names and iris recognition.
Police Deputy Chief Adil Al-Aggab explained that the project is considered a cornerstone of the state because it provides a permanently-developed database on the vital events of families and individuals.
However, the technical adviser of the civil register project, Majdi Mohamed Sharief, admitted that the process would be faced with difficulties in remote areas due to the weakness or unavailability of communication networks, adding that in such case the issuance of the ID card might be late for two days or more.