UNHCR welcomes the registration of South Sudanese citizens in Khartoum

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Sudan welcomes the commencement of the registration and documentation exercise of South Sudanese citizens in Sudan on 1 February 2015. This follows on the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between UNHCR, the Commission for Refugees (COR) and the Directorate General of Passports and Immigration (DPI) of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of the Sudan, on 21 December 2014, on the registration and documentation of South Sudanese citizens in Sudan.

The registration exercise will cover first Khartoum State before being rolled out to the rest of the country. Registration centres have been established in 12 of the so-called open areas, where South Sudanese will be issued with identity cards free of charge, valid for the entire period of their stay in Sudan.

"The beginning of the registration and documentation of South Sudanese is an important step to ensure they will enjoy the same level of rights as Sudanese citizens, as stipulated by the President last year. We will continue to support the authorities in the roll-out of this exercise", UNHCR Representative in Sudan, Mohammed Adar, says.

According to the Memorandum of Understanding, the DPI will undertake the registration of South Sudanese in Sudan and provide them with identity cards, which will be a legally recognized proof of identity, granting them the rights to stay, work and move freely in Sudan, as well as have access to civil status documents and other public services available to Sudanese citizens. According to the DPI, some 2,820 South Sudanese citizens have been registered since the beginning of the registration on Sunday.

Since the outbreak of violence in South Sudan in December 2013, some 120,000 South Sudanese have fled to Sudan, joining an estimated 350,000 people of South Sudanese origin who had been living in Sudan since the 2011 secession.

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