UN blames conflict, economic hardship on rise of statelessness in South Sudan

South Sudanese Refugees in Uganda (File Photo)
South Sudanese Refugees in Uganda (File Photo)

June 13th 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – The United Nations Refugee Agency, the UNHCR, said on Wednesday that displacements due to conflict and economic hardship have caused some South Sudanese to remain stateless as they are either denied or cannot afford nationality documentation in the country that has been embroiled in five years of conflict.

South Sudan’s Directorate of Nationality, Passports and Immigration (DNPI) said in the past that doubtful applicants are required by the agency to provides recommendation documents from their local authorities which is likely difficult for IDPs and returnees according to the UN agency.

“Continued insecurity in South Sudan has led to widespread forced displacement of persons, which increases their vulnerability to statelessness. A key challenge in terms of access to nationality documentation for internally displaced persons (IDPs) relates to the requirement of witnesses,” the UNHCR said in the report.

The UNHCR report said in conducted about 26 interviews including both focus group discussions and key informant interviews last year in the areas of Renk, Aweil, neighboring Sudan and the border area of Nimule near Uganda and the capital Juba.

The reports further said nomadic communities such as the Ambororo and Falata experience significant discrimination in term of access to nationality as they are perceived by the government as foreigners. The report also disclosed that trans-border ethnic communities of the Madi, Kakwa and Acholi near Uganda face similar difficulties.

UNHCR Representative in South Sudan said they have since 2012 helped over 12 thousands people ro acquire their nationality documents and will continue to work with the South Sudan government to do more in this regards.

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