Sudan to investigate cases of illegally granted citizenship
The Sudanese Ministry of Interior Affairs is investigating the practice of illegally granting nationalities to foreigners living in the country.
In a press statement in Khartoum on Thursday, Interior Minister Lt Gen El Tereifi Idris said he will prosecute those involved in illegally granting citizenship to foreigners, and bring them to justice.
He said that the ministry has instructed a review of those who were granted the Sudanese nationality in the past three decades.
All those who obtained Sudanese citizenship during the 30-year reign of Omar Al Bashir, deposed on April 11, have undergone inventory.
They are divided in three categories. The first one is formed by investors and businessmen who obtained the Sudanese nationality by official ways. Foreigners living in the country who obtained the Sudanese nationality after fulfilling all legal and administrative conditions, form the second category. The third category consists of people who obtained the nationality illegally. It was granted to them by influential figures of the Al Bashir regime who just bypassed the law, the minister explained.
Contrary to South Sudanese and Eritrean refugees in Sudan, many of the allegedly more than 250,000 Syrians who fled the war in their country and sought refuge in Sudan in the past few years were granted Sudanese citizenship.
The government of Al Bashir opened up the possibility for Syrians to apply for a Sudanese nationality only six months after arriving in the country. Reportedly, about 4,000 people were granted citizenship in 2016. The final number may be much higher.
As for people from West Africa, in particular Chad, Niger, and Mali, they were allegedly invited by the Sudanese authorities to settle in Darfur, in places deserted by farmers when they were attacked by Sudanese military and militiamen since the war broke out in the region in February 2003.
In March this year, Sudanese authorities reportedly converted large tracts of agricultural lands to housing areas in North Darfur’s Kabkabiya, and handed them to people from Niger and Mali.
Villagers reported to Radio Dabanga from North Darfur’s Tawila in June 2015 that thousands of newcomers took plots in areas deserted by the displaced. The newcomers were identified as members of Sudanese Arab militias and migrants from Chad, Mali and Niger, bringing their livestock with them. Members of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces protected the new inhabitants, the sources said.
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