Home | News    Tuesday 10 April 2012

Southerners turned away at Khartoum airport for using Sudanese passports


April 9, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese authorities at Khartoum airport on Monday prevented around 200 southern Sudanese from boarding their planes saying they can only do so now using travel documents issued by Juba.

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A South Sudanese arrives to register for a passport or a temporary travel document at the South Sudanese Embassy in Khartoum April 9, 2012 (Reuters)

Paul Madut, a southerner at the airport, said he was surprised to find out in the early morning hours that the flight to Juba was moved to the international terminal. Upon inquiring, he was told that his booking is cancelled and that he cannot leave using a Sudanese passport.

"We don’t know what to do now," one young woman also told Reuters, sitting next to a pile of suitcases and plastic bags outside the heavily guarded front gate of the international terminal.

South Sudan became an independent state last July and this week Khartoum declared that they are now officially considered foreign nationals and will be treated as such. They were given 30 days to register with Sudanese authorities.

The issue of citizenship has been a contentious item in the post-independence negotiations between north and south Sudan. Khartoum rejected any talk of dual citizenship and insisted that all 500,000 southerners in the north should make arrangements to adjust their status or depart to new state.

The two sides signed a ’Four Freedoms’ pact last month declaring their intention to given each others’ citizens’ residency, ownership, work and movement rights. The implementation was contingent upon agreeing on details and resolving separate security issues.

After learning of the new requirement for traveling, hundreds of southern Sudanese flocked to their semi-operational embassy in Khartoum to obtain new travel documents.

"They need passports to board flights," a Sudanese police officer told Reuters from inside the terminal.

The deputy charge d’affaires Martin Essa told Sudan Tribune that all southerners who want to fly south can do so in two days after receiving their new passports. He said that priority would be given to those wanting to travel immediately and then all other categories who want to obtain passports as well as documentation proving their southern citizenship.

Essa said that southern students need not worry because there is a memorandum of understanding signed between the ministries of higher education in both countries.

The southern diplomat stressed that they are also focused on those working in private or international organizations, IDP’s , students and those living in rural areas. He denied that that Juba took similar measures against northerners in the south.

He warned that Khartoum’s decision is now a reality and has to be dealt with accordingly.

Until Sunday flights to the southern capital Juba had been conducted at the domestic terminal without passport controls.

With almost no passengers to check in, state-owned Sudan Airways and other local carriers suspended their Juba flights.

"We are ready to fly but wait for a political decision," said an official at Sudan Airways.


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  • 10 April 2012 11:05, by Robot

    Northerners should prepare for that as well, things will reach their climax, ’an eye for an eye’, Northerners who are here are not lords............

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    • 10 April 2012 11:25, by viper

      Our brothers in the North should feel free. We will soon bring you back to the land of your ancestors. These Arabs are just intimidating you. They will not kill any S. Sudanese this time, if they do so, we will soon be with them in Khartoum fighting them

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      • 10 April 2012 14:09, by Chol

        If you refused to allow southerners back to Khartoum, that would be the only thing that will make you a lot smarter other than refusing to allow them to come to South Sudan.

        Northerners in the south, we don’t care whether they have passport or not, we just going to kick them out in the south.

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        • 10 April 2012 14:26, by Northern Sudanese

          kicking northerners out of south sudan is not a threat really......80% of northerners in the south have left already.......

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      • 10 April 2012 14:24, by Northern Sudanese


        you cant even take Heglig or Abyei and you already speak about taking Khartoum?????

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      • 10 April 2012 14:54, by mohammed ali

        Viper, fighting for what? You have to have a pssport to leave, stay, or come to a foreign country.This is happening everywhere in the world.You should do the same for northerners living in the South.S far this happening only in the airport and it is normal procedure. 2 months ago Sudan Embassy in Juba urged all Sudanese to legalise their stay in SS.Your govbernment did nothing though our...con

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        • 10 April 2012 15:02, by mohammed ali

          ..government granted you 9 months grace period as requested by the GOSS.They were busy looooting!Salva Kiir said he would request for an extension. I don’t know wouldhe would be able to do that with a country with whom you are fighting a war!

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        • 10 April 2012 16:48, by P.K.M

          Mr. Ali, you seem so clueless! You don’t give people living illegally in your country passports, you depot them to where they came from. When will you going to know that?

          It’s happening all over the world, really! What world do you live in that we don’t know? This doesn’t make you reasonable in any way shape or form, it simply make you clueless.

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        • 10 April 2012 19:05, by zulu

          The same peril is awaiting the 2 million cattle that grass annually in south sudan.
          The same government that wants to deport these south sudanese does not allow them to leave, is just mind boggling. We will not treat the innocent north sudanese in the south. But the impending consequence awaiting is a catastrophy, Economically especially. Just wait who will be hurt.

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    • 10 April 2012 17:17, by Lual Garang De Lual

      Hahaa, I have learnt that Khartoum is playing a game and in real sense it has taken South Sudanese as hostages for political gain. Take heed, any responsible govt can’t turn people away if they are found to have no proper identification while in the other national territories. Just catch them, charge them and deport them, simple as that but not turn away. That is against international law.

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  • 10 April 2012 11:38, by upuzi

    The president of Southern Sudan Salva Kiir said that southerners should not mistreat the Northers who are in South Sudan. So what happens is the Northerners slap you and you turn the other cheek.

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  • 10 April 2012 11:48, by Eastern

    This is the bitter truth. You cannot eat your cake and have it. Sudan and South Sudan are two different countries unless those who votted for unity during the referandum what to believe otherwise. All South Sudanese (not Southern Sudanese) in Sudan MUST have valid documents issued by Juba. Converesly, all Sudanese MUST present the same when leaving South Sudan. No more tahaniya and fulmasir!!!

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  • 10 April 2012 12:41, by LOJUBA

    Jalaba, I think every one expecting this before, because we understood the meaning of INDEPENDENCE, It is right time for South Sudan to get those Traders from north to have International Licence to allow them to do Business here Legally, we don’t have business in khartoum, lets see who would lose?

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  • 10 April 2012 12:45, by LOJUBA

    we are very sorry for Traders from sudan, but it is your weak government who forget you behind, and let his personal/one party interest ahead, I think you are going to face it Official and no one will put his/her hand on you nor your property, what is going to happen is you go back to khartoum and ask Bashir to gave you freedom

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  • 10 April 2012 12:57, by mosa mel

    We have been telling South Sudanese that Northerners are enemy and that is why we have been fighting for 22 years but they still go back to enemy land. If you don’t listen to brother you will facing consequences of ignore. Now they understand.

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  • 10 April 2012 13:19, by Ross

    I believe that what Sudanese Government is doing is the right way, it is nothing than increasing our confidence of developing ourselves and Country, furthermore, it is the way in wish we recognized ourselves as true Nation of South Sudan and have all the rights to live in a free Country that we through nationalism’s Ideology brings forward its independence. Jalaba will request our support soon.

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  • 10 April 2012 14:29, by Hitler

    Gracious Jesus! When God brings rain, it rains over all. Governments who do not respect international laws should not be treated as heros. Same laws of gravity should apply here too. No more rats, no more Jalaba dogs in South Sudan. Our immigration should issue passports to "all countries except Sudan". no terrorist in my house anymore.

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  • 10 April 2012 16:50, by acuil deng

    Sudan’s record of human rights violations, and its treatment to non-Arabs and non-Muslims is appalling. In the past it was accused of enslaving its own citizens. Today, Sudan, is isolated because of crimes aginst humanity and genocide. However; holding South Sudan nationals against their will is a crime punishable by further sanctions from the international community.

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  • 10 April 2012 18:05, by Eastern

    Fellow South Sudanese. Let’s get out of this confusion for once. There are no ’northerners’ or ’southerners’ anymore. There are South Sudanese and Sudanese period. We are two different and distinct countries.

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  • 10 April 2012 19:08, by Joseph Canada


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