In April, RI advocates Sarnata Reynolds and Peter Orr traveled to Juba,
South Sudan to evaluate the impact of nationality laws in the world’s
newest country, and to identify opportunities to prevent statelessness.
South Sudan seceded from Sudan on July 9, 2011, several months after its
people voted overwhelmingly for independence. However, the act of
secession did not automatically grant nationality to anyone within South
Sudan’s borders; rather, individuals must apply to be recognized as
South Sudanese. Since many civilians lack documentation and resources,
the nationality process can be arduous and time consuming for some, and
inaccessible and unfair for others. Ongoing conflict and escalating
rhetoric between Sudan and South Sudan further exacerbate barriers to
the acquisition of nationality.
People crowd outside the Directorate of Nationality, Passports and Immigration in Juba to apply for a nationality certificate. Applicants must provide a birth certificate or age assessment, and a witness who can attest to their place of origin.