Report on citizenship law : Sudan

Published: 29/Juin/2022
Source: GLOBALCIT, European University Institute

By Mohamed Abdelsalam BABIKER

1. Introduction

This report analyses citizenship laws in Sudan in their historical context. The report sheds some light on the colonial legal frameworks and policies during the British-Egyptian condominium (1899–1956) but focuses primarily on the constitutional and legislative framework governing citizenship laws since independence. The report sets out the provisions of the 1957 Nationality Act and of the 1994 Sudanese Nationality Act, which replaced it and remains in force, as well as its subsequent amendments.

Since 1998, the Sudanese constitution has guaranteed equal rights to men and women to transmit citizenship to their children. These citizenship rights were also contained in the 2005 Interim National Constitution and the 2019 Constitutional Document adopted to govern a transitional period following the peaceful revolution in Sudan ending thirty years of dictatorship and authoritarianism and establishing a civilian-led government. On 25 October 2021, the 2019 constitutional framework was partially suspended, after the head of the army  instigated a coup, ending the transitional period before it was completed.

The report dedicates a section to citizenship and gender. It argues Sudan has made encouraging progress since the enactment of the 1998 Constitution of the Republic of Sudan. However, Sudan still needs further reform of its citizenship laws in order to harmonize them with the constitution and the requirements of gender equality provided for under the international human rights regime. In particular, reforms are needed in relation to the acquisition and retention of Sudanese nationality and the right to transfer nationality to one’s spouse and children. Close analysis of Sudanese citizenship laws shows that Sudanese nationality rules discriminate between men and women in terms of substance, as well as their practical application.

Part of this report also focuses on citizenship and statelessness in the context of the secession of South Sudan, when thousands of Southern Sudanese lost their citizenship and other concomitant rights associated with citizenship. In this respect, the report examines Sudan’s citizenship laws and constitutions adopted following the secession, in order to assess the extent to which national legislation envisage or provide guarantees against individuals being rendered stateless.

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Themes: Acquisition de la nationalité, Perte et déchéance de la nationalité
Regions: Soudan
Year: 2022