Home | News    Sunday 17 July 2016

South Sudan restricting movement of its citizens

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July 16, 2016 (JUBA) - The South Sudanese government has imposed restrictions on the movement of its nationals, denying them access to their families in neigbouring nations in violation of their constitutional and basic rights to freedom of movement.

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The arrivals of Juba International Airport (File Photo)

It is still unclear as to who issued the directive and for what purpose.

The director of Juba international airport, Kur Kuol confirmed receiving directives from the authorities that no government official should be allowed out of the country without permission.

Even ordinary citizens are said to be affected as they have been turned away at the airport and denied possession of their passports.

A South Sudanese national studying in Uganda could not return for exams as Friday, the day he intended to travel, witnessed deadly clashes the presidential palace said his passport was confiscated.

He was later asked to see security officials for clearance to his destination country, only to be told on arrival that they were not permitting people to travel out of the country at the time of war.

"If you go out, who will fight, who will fight this war, just go home", narrated the student, whose passport was still with state operatives.

"I do not know what to do now. I was supposed to sit exams on Tuesday 12 July, and that was why I wanted to travel on Friday 10th, but there was no seat in the flight. I wanted to use the next available flight was on Sunday 10, but fighting erupted on Friday evening and carried on for four days. When it stopped on Monday 11, I had hoped I would fly normally, [but] unfortunately I was denied travel and my passport was seized", he added.

But Kuol said no official letter from government denied ordinary citizens from traveling out of the country, except for its officials.

"There is no official letter preventing South Sudanese from traveling to various destinations but what I know is that any official from the government who wants to travel has to get permission from his place of work", Kuol told reporters, but did not elaborate further.

The undersecretary in the ministry of transport, Captain Martin declined to comment on the behaviour of the government operatives, when asked in a separate interview.

Amnesty International also said it had received reports from two charter companies that National Security Service officers have ordered them not to carry South Sudanese nationals, particularly men. It has also been told by an entity that one of its South Sudanese staff was prevented from boarding a flight to Uganda.

“This arbitrary conduct by South Sudanese security forces is totally unacceptable. South Sudan must respect people’s right to freedom of movement, including the right to leave their own country,” said Elizabeth Deng, the organisation’s South Sudan researcher.

“It is absolutely critical that both parties to the conflict do not obstruct safe passage of civilians fleeing to places of refuge both inside and outside the country,” she added.

Thousands of South Sudanese have reportedly gathered at the country’s southern border seeking to enter into Uganda, but they are being prevented from crossing over.

(ST)

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  • 17 July 2016 00:26, by Thyinka

    I think it is unacceptable for South Sudan government to restrict ordinary citizens from travelling. It doesn’t make sense. For government employees, it is okay because they have to carry out government business.

    repondre message

  • 17 July 2016 05:47, by Joseph Canada

    Dinka forces are afraid to let people leave Juba. They want Civilians to be used as Human shield incase anything happens.

    repondre message

    • 17 July 2016 08:15, by barbayo

      Joseph Canada

      good when the government restricting , people like you come to South Sudan and looted resources and when its fir they run this time no friends ,now sit clear policy which regulate those hold dual citizen if entered in South Sudan with South Sudanese passport you may not go out and if go to South Sudan with country passport you can not allow enter in South Sudan .

      repondre message

      • 17 July 2016 09:30, by Whortti Bor Manza

        In any situation here in South Sudan, Dinkas are the first to take to their heels. Look at the big refugees camps in Kenya and Uganda, the majority are Dinkas. This restrictions will never solve your problems you idiots.

        repondre message

  • 17 July 2016 08:15, by Eastern

    South Sudanese human rights activists were sleeping when SS Government issued the Nationality Certificates. Take look at the back of the certificate: This is to certify that the bearer, whose image and thump print appear herein, is South Sudanese citizen under the provisions of the Nationality Act....

    repondre message

  • 17 July 2016 08:31, by Eastern

    ...cont. The bearer therefore is entitled to ALL THE RIGHTS and PRIVILAGES and is SUBJECT to ALL DUTIES and REPONSIBILITIES of SOUTH SUDANESE citizen! Kiir’s government is using this clause to keep all able-bodied men in the country for possible conscription into Mathiang Anyoor!!!!!

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