Home | News    Monday 11 July 2011

South Sudan leader prepared to grant citizenship for Northerners


July 10, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The president of South Sudan Salva Kiir said on Sunday that he is willing to grant all Northerners the nationality of the newly formed state in a move that will likely put pressure on Khartoum.

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South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir waves to his supporters as he arrives at the John Garang mausoleum before the Independence Day celebrations in the capital Juba, July 9, 2011 (Reuters)

This week the Sudanese cabinet approved changes to the immigration law which would automatically strip all Southerners of their citizenship though it is not clear how this would be practically implemented.

Khartoum has already terminated the employment of all Southerners in the government and military.

The status of Southerners in the North and Northerners in the South has yet to be agreed on between the National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) as part of post-secession arrangements.

Last month officials from both sides said that they agreed on granting citizens in both countries nine months to obtain necessary residency permits or prepare for departure. However, they did not say on what basis would residency be granted to those applying for it.

In a meeting with leaders of Northern and Southern political parties today, Kiir said that his country needs the expertise of Northerners but he strongly criticised Khartoum’s previous move of stopping the flow of goods and services to the South by closing the borders saying it was made to pressure him.

Kiir also said that he would allow Northerners in the South to become citizens adding thar he hoped Khartoum would reciprocate. He noted that many Southerners in the North want to stay where they are.

The South Sudan leader stressed that his government would give Northerners the priority in investments and the job market.

He added that pledges by him and president Omer Hassan al-Bashir would be nothing but “lies” unless they are acted upon.

“On my end I began implementation and started with issues relating to citizenship and investments for Northerners,” Kiir said.


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  • 11 July 2011 08:26, by Niko

    No we will never accept Southerners as citizens in the North, you may grant it to Northerners but we will never grant it to you. We’re sick of you. The North is finally free.

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    • 11 July 2011 12:01, by Bigcat

      Northerner in the south sudan shuoldn’t be granted citizenship in south sudan, they be will granted only refugee permit or visa for work/business in the south sudan.

      to president kiir, what development do arabs/north have ?but non-arabs norherner are good!.enemy of yesterday couldn’t develop south sudan.

      we southerner shuold not alway make northern government happy while they alway reply it with disaster like what they all did to south sudan state of unity state bombarment and terrorist innocent people in abyei and southern kordofan plus darfur! what kind service do norh sudan government offer to it citezen?the anwser is death of civilian and displace of civilian from army order by NCP/NIF government in the north sudan.

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    • 11 July 2011 15:31, by eye-of-an-eye

      I can see there will be another slavary in North to South Citizen if this can be in this urgent time, I also sugest that the Northerners to be granted citizenship shoud be black African Sudanese from Darfur, Kordufan, Blue Nile or East not pure Sudan Arabs, because we don’t want to plant other Arabs in South that will turn to terorist South Sudan in few years coming, all we should do is to offer temporary living/working permit from now and 20 years untill we build good security like USA or other Western countries, otherwise we will suffer again. HE. Pres. Kiir must study this properly before solution given.

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    • 12 July 2011 08:23, by Young

      We’ll never allows any terrorist in our land unless they left behind their Islamic act of inhuman.There is nothing we needs from them that we can grant them citizenship if they need our help we’ll help them while in Khartuom.Darfurian should be given their right if at all Khartuom needs to have better relationship with the Juba.

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  • 11 July 2011 09:22, by Adam

    Mr. President!

    Please be logical and courageous and not push for Southerners to be granted citizenship in the North. All Southerners (more than 98%) feels that they are second class citizens in Sudan. You yourself asked them to vote for independence so they can be first class citizens in the ROSS. It is not readily understood by the North Government or even normal citizens that many Southerners want to stay in the North after voted for independence. Please take the responsibility and bring all Southerners from the North and provide them with decent opportunities.

    As far as I know the Sudan’s Nationality Law automatically grants citizenship to the children of a Northerner from a Southerner Women. However, the law is also clear that children from a Southerner from a Northerner woman should be Southerners.

    I also don’t understand why Mr. President wants Southerners in the North be given Sudan citizenship? If they like to stay and work in the North they can do that as foreigners. No problem. If Northerners in the South accepts to stay in the South to help in building the new nation, it is good. No problem, we need them, but they should remain foreigners.

    This is not an issue between ROSS and ROS. Please solve pending issues like demarcation of borders, Abyei, oil, BN and South Kurdofan etc.

    Adam Milawaki, Juba

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    • 11 July 2011 10:57, by Nhomlawda


      This piece does not meet standard of intellectual contribution at all.
      World is becoming a small village and anybody can stay anywhere in the global.
      There are politicians in NCP senior positions in Khartoum who are Egyptian, Turkey, British and American citizens.
      The same in GOSS, there are people in senior positions who are Ugandan, Kenyan, American, German, Zimbabwean, Canadian and Cuban nationals and many other foreign nationals of South Sudan background.
      Citizenship is issued to a foreigner who had fulfilled all the requirements of citizenship including declaring allegiance to the state. Citizenship is issued to people who are prepared to stay in that country for a long time so that they cannot be denied access to state benefits
      There are some southerners – thousands in Khartoum and North Sudan in general who are third or fourth generation of South Sudanese in the north. They had all made their lifetime investments in the north and have nothing in the South including culture and language except color and sometimes names; do you still consider such people true Southerners who should be denied north Sudan citizenship? There are also political dissidents and militias, and former SAF soldiers who do not like South Sudan and her people; do you want those treated as foreigners too in Khartoum and North Sudan elsewhere?
      There are Arabs in South Sudan like the Akasha family who had known no other home then South Sudan, do you want those chased too even if they swear allegiance to the new nation?
      South and North Sudan had been together for 100s of years and you should know that there are more ties between the two countries that fundamentalists on both sides cannot just brush aside.
      South Sudan opted for independence just to control its own political destiny and economy but not to punish Arabs as a race.
      There are some Arabs in South Sudan if chased from here will only commit suicide, why do you want them to kill themselves when they are not harmful to our political, economic and social existence?

      Think big

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      • 11 July 2011 11:39, by Adam

        Thank you brother Nhomlawda. It is a good move or you and written in a beautiful sincere way. However, can NCP and SPLM be that tolerant?

        Adam Milawaki, Juba

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        • 11 July 2011 11:40, by Adam


          Thank you brother Nhomlawda. It is a good move of you and written in a beautiful sincere way. However, can NCP and SPLM be that tolerant?

          Adam Milawaki, Juba

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          • 12 July 2011 01:18, by Boyone

            Brothers from the north,

            we need to be happy all because our peace is your peace, our problem is your problem so be happy with us thanks.

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  • 11 July 2011 09:45, by NYANKOOR

    Thank you president. Its good to know that the new government of the Republic of South Sudan, will treat everyone equally regardless of thier religion, tribe or race. There should be no discrimination in the new nation, leave that to the North Sudan.

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    • 11 July 2011 10:35, by innocent

      To early for northerns to be granted a citizenship. There must be a criteria that should be used to allow any northern to become citizen in the republic of south sudan.There is no need to rush or jump to the end ,when there is alot more to be done. where on earth is any foreigner allow to be granted a citizen without special a criteria .This president will not preserve , protect and defend our constitution.

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      • 11 July 2011 11:10, by Nhomlawda


        Worry less; Arabs currently in South Sudan are few. Majority of them are currently in major cities like Juba, Wau, and Malakal and may be Renk and Bentiu.
        South Sudanese will absorb them within the next 50 years.
        Of course they will declare allegiance to the new state and must respect all human rights including accepting to grant their women and girls freedoms other women and girls enjoy in South Sudan.
        What we must control is the influx of new Arabs and citizens from any country. Our borders must be strengthened and secured so that we know true investors from fake investors coming to take away opportunities our people have in South Sudan.

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  • 11 July 2011 12:38, by Sam.Eto

    The Republic of South Sudan will need about 20 years to build a properly functioning government, the World Bank’s acting country director for Sudan, Ian Bannon, told reporters today in the southern capital, Juba.

    I dont see any reason why Northerners would want to stay in the South !! But i see a million reasons why the Southerners would want to stay in the North. Plus comparing giving citizenship to a hand full of Northerners in the South can no way be compared to giving it to millions of Southerners who want to stay or move to the North. Its like America giving citizenship to every refugee that comes to America - do you think they are stupid enough to allow that.

    You chose to divide the country 98.3% - you wanted you own country - you dont want to be treated like 2nd class citizens. Why do you want after all this to still have citizinship in the North. Like any other country - if your work visa ends - you pack up and leave - no longer how long you been in that country.

    So good bye and good riddens !

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    • 11 July 2011 14:29, by Agutran

      Sam.Eto/Mohammad, Read the headline, northerners are the ones that wanted to be southern citizens and they know exactly why and you also know that, so please stop pretending.

      Now, when did south became a paradise when you were making mockery of it all these years

      Your sparkling infrastructures in the north are the result of Southern wealth and all that would be nothing without the south supply.

      The northerners know precisely why they want to be Southerners.

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  • 12 July 2011 16:37, by Lokeji

    Dear president,in my personal opinion i totaly disagreed with the notion of granding the northerners ( especially of arab origin)the southern nationality.The arabs got chance to enslave us, just because of this kind of mistakes that we term them to be generousity or pity, which we called them African values while others called them African stupidity.
    If today we open to them the door of citizenship, can you grantee to us what will they claim with this nationality?
    pl’se safe the future generations from the mistakes of 1641 AD,am of an opinion of building a wall in the southern boarder with the north, if i were to be the president of the republic of southern sudan.this does not mean that, am against our African brothers in the north but rather am with them in all their struggle for freedom and we shall continue to support them.There is one thing that both of us need to understand,we as southerner need not to accommudate our African brothers in south or encourage them to flow to the new country but rather the greatest help we can render them is all our strategical support( financial, political and military).It’s good to help them to liberate their land and people from the arabs domination instead of giving them an alternative country,because once we chose to settle them in the new country then this shows that we have given the arabs our land in a golden plate or we have help the arabs to accomplish their great dream( building an arab and islamic state).
    pl’se mr. president avoid such kind of suggestions, even in your night dreams.

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  • 9 August 2011 07:20, by Deng II


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