Sunday, March 04, 2012

Sudan's Ethnic Cleansing

Hundreds of thousands of Southern Sudanese who have spent most of their lives in the north now find themselves their lives upended when the country split in half. In July South Sudan broke off from Sudan and formed its own nation. But for southerners living north of the border the south’s independence compounded their misery. There will not be any dual citizenship for southerners living in the north. And it is not clear what the status will be for northerners living in the south. The Sudanese government says it is going to strip all southerners of their citizenship starting in April. If they want to remain in Sudan, they must apply for a visa, work permit, residency papers and the like, all of which will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to get for impoverished, illiterate people who often have no documents showing when or where they were born. Even if someone was born in the north the restrictions are the same. If the person belongs to an ethnic group that is from the south then that person is considered a southerner.

More than 350,000 southerners have recently relocated, by bus and by barge, from the north to the south.

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