JUBA – South Sudan government is intentionally blocking issuance of ordinary passports to prevent the desertion of the country by the citizens under pretext that there are no funds to buy booklets and papers which are used to issue passports and nationality certificates, a ministry of interior officer just told Sudans Post.
Last month, South Sudan government announced that it has resumed issuing passports after its German technology provider shut down the system for a year because the country failed to pay its bills, a senior. However, the resumption will only target issuance of diplomatic and business passports as the government hasn’t yet paid at least $5 million of the 6.4 million dollars it owes to the German firm.
Speaking to Sudans Post this afternoon, a senior South Sudan police officer working at the department of nationality passports and immigration said the government has not allocated any fund to the ministry of interior because it intentionally wants to block the issuance of the passports to prevent citizens from fleeing the war-torn country.
“Since last year, the government has not issued funds for the issuance of passports and nationality [certificates] and this is because the government has employed a policy that it wants to prevent the citizens from leaving the country because the presence of South Sudanese refugees abroad is an indication to the international community that there is problem back home,” the office said.
Speaking to reporters at a press conference in Juba on July 29, Director General of the Nationality and Passports at the ministry of interior, Gen. Atem Marol Bair, disclosed that they will have 22,000 nationality IDs and 39,000 diplomatic passports in early August saying the government had cleared almost half of the money they owe to the German tech company.
“We have talked to German company Muhlbauer and they promised us by Saturday, we are going to receive 22,000 cards of ID and we are going to receive 39,000 cards of a diplomatic passport. The Ministry of Finance paid 1.4 million U.S dollars, German company Muhlbauer and now we are left with a balance of 5 million U.S dollars and it will be cleared by the government very soon,” Maral told reporters in Juba at the time.