By Julius N. Uma
May 31, 2012 (JUBA) – As talks between Sudan and South Sudan got underway on Tuesday US-based Refugees International has recommended that both parties make the status of each other’s citizens a priority.
Refugees International (RI), in its report entitled “South Sudan Nationality: Commitment Now Avoids Conflict Later,” also highlights the particularly vulnerable position of hundreds of thousands of southerners who have yet to be granted nationality certificates.
Sudan has said security issues will be a priority, after conflicts along the north-south border in March and April. Khartoum also hopes that by focusing on security Juba will be forced to admit its backing of rebels in Blue Nile and South Kordofan. Both sides deny backing the other’s rebels.
Sarnata Reynolds, RI’s program manager for statelessness argues that the talks should « include the security of those hundreds of thousands of southerners still in Sudan. »
South Sudan seceded from Sudan in July 2011 as part of a peace deal that ended decades of conflict, which displaced over four million people.
« The longer it takes for southerners to be recognized as South Sudanese nationals, the more vulnerable these people are to violence, exclusion, and poverty, » he added.
Read further on Sudan Tribune website.