The Post-Secession Nationality Regimes in Sudan and South Sudan
Source: Journal of Immigration, Nationality and Asylum Law, Vol.27, No.3
Following the secession of South Sudan from the Republic of Sudan on 9 July 2011 both countries have passed new citizenship legislation with dramatic effects for the rights of individuals in both countries. I assess these new legislative regimes with particular reference to the public international standards relevant to loss of nationality and denationalisation. The Sudanese Act, insofar as it provides for the automatic denationalisation of South Sudanese nationals only, is both discriminatory on its face and violates key due process standards. While the South Sudanese nationalisation provisions appear generous, by abandoning the well-established test of ‘habitual residence’, its regime is at once both overbroad and insufficiently comprehensive. It grants citizenship to a broad range of citizens with little or no connection to South Sudan while failing to guarantee citizenship for individuals born in South Sudan to stateless, undocumented and foreign parents. The two regimes combine to create a perverse synergy that results in the automatic denationalisation of a significant minority of the Sudanese population.
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