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Activists call to end suffering of stateless after South Sudan independence

November 12, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese activists have launched a campaign to end the suffering of thousands of people that are denied the Sudanese nationality after the independence of South Sudan particularly those whose mothers are Sudanese.

After South Sudan independence in 2011, Sudanese authorities withdrew the nationality of South Sudanese that are born in Sudan. Also, those who are from a South Sudanese father have been arbitrarily deprived of nationality.

Sudanese activists told Sudan Tribune that the stateless people are not allowed to go to schools, to buy a house, to get married, to get a job or to move inside the country or abroad.

There are now 300 court cases against the Sudanese government on deprivation of nationality, according to Ihsan Abdel Aziz, a Sudanese activist member of the "I’m Sudanese" Initiative which monitors the situation of stateless children from Sudanese mothers.

"This number is not true because there are much more, but the victims of the removal of citizenship (after the 2011 separation) avoid recourse to the judiciary fearing to be harassed by the authorities, especially most of them are working in the private sector in marginal jobs," Abdel Aziz told "Sudan Tribune.

The I’m Sudanese" campaign aims to give Sudanese citizenship to any person from a Sudanese mother and South Sudanese father without condition as it is provided in the nationality law. Also, the group calls to restitute the Sudanese nationality to those who have been denied the nationality after the 2011 secession.

The activists further say they want to prevent the risk of statelessness in Sudan, in line with the international human rights instruments.

Abdel Aziz said the government has appealed to the Supreme Court against the rule of some courts in favour of the stateless people after the South Sudan independence.

The campaigners point that despite the clear provisions of the law guaranteeing the right to acquire Sudanese nationality for the sons of a Sudanese female, the authorities refrain from delivering the ID cards to hundreds of children in the state of Khartoum and other states since the secession of South Sudan five years ago.

They are determined to end the suffering of a large number of families whose children have been deprived of their nationality and citizenship, as a result of which they are treated as foreigners who are required to pay school and university fees in dollars, as well as being deprived of free treatment and discrimination.

(ST)