Key Threats of Statelessness in the Post-Secession Sudanese and South Sudanese Nationality Regimes

In: Tilburg Law Review
Mike Sanderson University of Exeter

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Following the secession of South Sudan from Sudan on 9 July 2011 both countries have passed new citizenship legislation with dramatic effects for the rights of individuals on both sides of the new border. While the South Sudanese nationality provisions appear generous its regime is at once both over and under-inclusive. It grants citizenship to a broad range of persons with little connection to South Sudan but fails to guarantee citizenship for individuals habitually resident in South Sudan and children born in South Sudan to stateless, undocumented or foreign parents. The Sudanese Act provides for the automatic denationalisation of South Sudanese nationals only and reserves to its own authorities the discretion to determine whether South Sudanese nationality has been acquired. This will lead to de jure statelessness as individuals denationalised by operation of the Sudanese law struggle to establish their nationality claims in South Sudan. Those individuals who have acquired South Sudanese citizenship but remain in Sudan are left as de facto stateless in the continuing absence of effective state protection from South Sudan.

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