Article on Sudanese Citizenship of those of Southern Origin
Today the ministry of labour has issued a general directive to all government departments to dismiss any Sudanese of southern origin as a direct consequence of stripping them of their northern Sudanese nationality. Another similar directive was sent to all private sector. Nothing can be more erroneous. First, the Khartoum government lacks the legal ground to identify any of its subjects as being of so and so ethnicity as it has dropped off the question of ethnicity in its last sensus. So, the Khartoum government is not in the place to say how many Dinkas or how many Nuers or Shilluks exist in the Sudan, north and south as well. Likewise, it cannot prove that a particular person is a Dinka or Nubian or Fur. It is true that in the nationality application forms there is a question about the ethnicity of the applicant (the tribe in particular); however, those who have got their nationality
document in this way do not exceed 12 millions since independence (including the deceased). Furthermore, all the documents that go before 1995 have been damaged.
Having counted the population is being 40 million in the last census proves that the nationality document is redundant. At least 28 millions who are alive do not have nationality document but nevertheless are considered as Sudanese by the government;
Secondly, the nationality law states that any foreign person who stays in the Sudan legally for 5 consecutive years becomes qualified to apply for Sudanese nationality.
The sliding majority of those northerners of south origin have been living in the
north for more than 20 years. So, if they were foreigners, they would have been qualified for nationality. In the Sudan we have many ethnic groups of foreign origin, such as those whose origin goes back to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Chad, Nigeria,
Ethiopia, Eritrea etc. How come that we cannot have ethnic groups such as the Dinka, Shilluk, Nuer etc whose origin may take them back to southern Sudan?
Thirdly, the CPA has set forth a clear criterion of those who are eligible to claim Southern identity, but has not yet established any definition of who is the Southerner. It clearly states that those of southern origin and who have come to the north from the south in so and so period, or those who have either parents from the
south, can claim the southern identity and consequently can register to vote in the then upcoming referendum. However, those who are qualified to be southerners but have been living long enough in the north and accordingly have qualified for
citizenship can remain anywhere in the north if they prefer. So, the objectivity of option is that those registered in the referendum have made their decision to be southerners; those who have not registered have made their decision to remain as northerners;
Fourthly, there are at least 4.5 million northerners of south origin who have nothing to do with the unfolding situation of cession as they have not participated in the referendum. The cession of Southern Sudan has been brought about by two
factors, the first is the growing sentiment of anti black, anti African, and anti southerner among a certain sector of northern Sudanese. There has been a surge of is trend that started gaining momentum with the wake of this fanatically Islamist and
Arab-chauvinistic regime. This is the major factor that has created the conditions of cession. In such a state it was inevitable for any people to opt for cession, in particular the southerners who have been living under the yoke of racism for centuries. The second factor is merely technical, i.e. the polling, which has been
exercised by about 8 millions of Sudanese citizens living in the South plus about 200.000 who registered live in the North and who had registered as southerners for the referendum. This proves that the 4.5 millions have nothing to do with either the
referendum or its result. To take those 4.5 millions accountable for the cession of the South by either the government of Khartoum or its ranks and media institutions of hatred is merely to project their own failure of maintaining the unity. The 4.5 millions of northerners of south origin cannot be used, victimized, and sacrificed for the sake of saving the culprits to answer for their responsibility when the day of reckoning comes;
Fifth, The national, regional and international NGOs and civil societies institutions, and the free Pan African elites and intellectuals worldwide cannot maintain their ethical and moral integrity if they allow this state fascism and apartheid orientations in the Sudan to blackmail them so as to relinquish and capitulate; Sixth, the regime of Khartoum is working hard to deepen the rift between Africanism and Arabism in the identity awareness of Sudanese people by not only enhancing this discourse of anti Africaism, chauvinistic pro Arabism, but further by initiating it
through its top echelon officials. The keyword today for the two parts of the Sudan is “interdependency” where the existence of northerners of south origin (and southerners of north origin) will surely pave the way to good developmental relations and will serve as a bridge between the shores of the two parts of the
country. All other aspects of interdependency, whether cultural or economical, comes after this humane and material bridging. The regime of Khartoum is fully aware that the Sudanese people will very soon awake to face the grim fact that their beloved
country is no more the same and that they will understandably be held responsible for this;
Seventh, we have all to stand up and face this new wave of state racism. Who is a Northerner is that Sudanese person who has lawfully qualified for Sudanese nationality and who has chosen to live in the North; who is a Southerner is that Sudanese person who has lawfully qualified for Sudanese nationality and who has
chosen to live in the South. The foreigners are those who do not fall in either groups. The Sudanese northerners of southern origin are being officially discriminated against by the government of Khartoum. This is taking place as part of a process of demographic engineering plans upon which African people in Darfur are
being replaced by Arab groups brought over from the Niger; African Nubas are being replaced by Arabised groups in Southern Kordufan and Abyei; the Beja of Eastern Sudan are being replaced by fanatically Islamist groups from over Eritrea and Egyptian peasants; the Nubians in the far north are being replaced by Egyptian peasants brought from over the delta. The current slogan that resonates all over the region: “the people want to change the Regime!” is being turned by the Islamist regime of Khartoum into: “the Regime wants to change the People!” For people to change their bad regimes is commonplace; but for a detestable corrupt regime to decide to change its people is a matter that cannot be achieved without those retched people get killed in cold blood as what has happened in Darfur and what is happening right now in Southern Kordufan.
Attached is an article showing how the international law is violated by the Khartoum regime in its last move of alienating the citizenship of those northerners of south origin. The link below is an essay I wrote in Aljazeera.net last month. The points
raised above can roughly serve as a rudimentary translation of it: