October 19, 2013 (JUBA) – A group of South Sudanese activists have embarked on a campaign to place the young nation on the world map, amidst reports that its nationals find it hard to secure travel visas.
South Sudan became independent after its split from Sudan in 2011. The two fought over two decades of civil war, which ended with the 2005 signing of a comprehensive peace accord.
Activists, however, claim South Sudan is yet to enter other world countries’ lists, over two years since its independence.
On Thursday, Community Empowerment for Progress Organization-(CEPO), a local body said it had initiated a move to draw world government attention to include South Sudan on their various embassy lists.
The initiative, it said, also seeks to ensure the new nation was included in any other services that involves selecting a state from a given list of other world nations.
“CEPO realized that, many countries in the world have not included South Sudan in their visa list and this makes South Sudanese to lose a lot of opportunities that they are supposed to enjoy like any other citizen in the world,” party reads the organisation’s statement.
Recently, CEPO learned of the hardships facing South Sudanese since the country is not in the list of online services when selections of nations from a given nations is required, it added.
A global campaign, the group said, is underway to remind some donors and companies that offer online services on behalf of donors to include South Sudan in their lists, stressing that majority of the world nations were yet to update their list of nations.
The organisation, for instance, said although China, the United State and United Kingdom were among few nations that recognise South Sudan, some companies offering services their behalf of have allegedly not updated their list to include the young nation.
Meanwhile CEPO said it had so far registered over 50 cases in which South Sudanese have either been embarrassed or discriminated due to absence of their country from lists of nations provided by governments, mainly at international airports.
“(…)..This situation should stop since South Sudan is a nation like any other nation in the world”, stressed the organisation.
But while the group also called upon regional institutions like the African Union, European Union, Arab League of States and Asia to notify their member nations of South Sudan’s existence, it mainly urged its foreign affairs ministry to intervene in sorting out this mess.
The young nation has announced plans to reform its foreign affairs ministry after two of its senior officials were allegedly embarrassed by airport security officials during a their recent visit to the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York.