//Sudan strips 13,000 naturalised foreigners of citizenship and passports

Sudan strips 13,000 naturalised foreigners of citizenship and passports

According to the Khartoum based Al-Sudani newspaper, the decision was signed by the head of the Sovereign Council upon a request made by the interior minister at a cabinet meeting.

However, the daily did not notify the date of the decree.

The former regime had given Sudanese passports to some Islamist opposition leading members from Arab countries such as Rached Ghannouchi a Tunisian politician and funder of the Ennahdha Party who in 2011 publicly thanked the al-Bashir government for giving him a diplomatic passport.

In January 2019, Algeria banned all Syrians from entering the country via its southern borders saying they are suspected of terrorist activities. Some of them were using fake Sudanese passports, according to statements to Reuters by an Algerian official.

A Sudanese official at the interior ministry confirmed to Sudan Tribune that the government has “decided to withdraw the nationalities granted by the ousted regime to foreigners, especially those with ties to extremist Islamic groups”.

In November 2019, Mohamed al-Faki, Sovereign Council member and a spokesman said the government was reviewing Sudanese passports granted to foreigners.

“The Sudanese passport was extremely abused throughout the past regime, and even diplomatic passports were sold to the leaders of extremist religious groups,” he said.

“The sanctions against Sudan and its continued designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism did not come from a vacuum,” he added before to emphasize that the revolution’s government came to correct these situations.”

The withdrawal of Sudanese passport and nationality was taken upon the finding of a technical committee tasked to review the issuance of Sudanese nationality to foreigners during the past thirty years from 1989 to 2019.

The committee had been established in May 2019, one month after the collapse of the former regime.

There are no official statistics for naturalized citizens in Sudan but Arab nationals who fled their countries to Sudan after the Arab Spring acquired Sudanese citizenship.