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Sudanese nationality returned to South Sudanese by court order

July 11 - 2017 KHARTOUM
(file photo)
(file photo)

The Sudanese Supreme Court decided on Thursday that Sudanese nationality, which was withdrawn after the secession of South Sudan, must be restored to South Sudanese citizen Adel Bur'i Ramadan.

The court ordered the Ministry of Interior to expedite the process of granting Adel Bur'i Ramadan Sudanese nationality. Ramadan’s Sudanese citizenship from his father’s side was withdrawn when the south became independent from Sudan in 2011.

He opened a case against the decision and gained support from Sudanese and South Sudanese who encountered similar problems.

In an interview with Radio Dabanga, one of the campaigners for Ramadan’s case described the Supreme Court’s decision as “a victory for justice”.

Ihsan Abdelaziz: “The decision is also a victory for the rights of Sudanese women, for whom the laws have been suspended for political purposes. These purposes carry no relation to the civil rights of citizens.”

The campaigner added that the decision of the Supreme Court is an incentive for all those affected by the practices of the Ministry of the Interior, in the deprivation of their right to citizenship as children of a Sudanese mother and South Sudanese father.

In July 2011, the Sudanese Council of Ministers passed a bill that amended the Sudanese Nationality Act. The new Act for 2011 was made in regards to the upcoming independence of southern Sudan. Citizens lost the Sudanese citizenship. The then Interior Minister Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid said the amendment was necessary due to the upcoming independence of the region.

Decision text

The Supreme Court in Khartoum issued the text of its decision on Saturday, announcing the return of Ramadan’s Sudanese nationality. The Interim Constitution of Sudan in Article 7 (2) stipulates that every child of a Sudanese mother has the right to enjoy the Sudanese nationality or citizenship. It also is sufficient for the acquisition of the nationality that the father or mother at the time of submitting the application shall be enjoying Sudanese nationality.

Thus the Supreme Court concluded that the acquirement of the Sudanese nationality should not derogate from this right, regardless of an advisory opinion of the Ministry of Justice that contradicts the provisions of the Constitution.

The court’s provision is a precedent that demonstrates the right to acquire the Sudanese nationality on the grounds that the mother is of a Sudanese nationality at the time of applying for citizenship.

Government of Sudan agrees on refugee status of South Sudanese in Sudan (2 September 2016) 


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