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Sudan cancels passports issued to foreigners by Bashir regime

By AFP
10 December 2020   |   2:29 pm
Sudan's interim authorities have cancelled more than 3,500 passports issued to foreign residents by the government of ousted president Omar al-Bashir, the interior ministry announced on Thursday.

Sudan’s former president Omar Hassan al-Bashir smiles as he is seen inside a cage at the courthouse where he is facing corruption charges, in Khartoum, Sudan August 31, 2019.<br />REUTERS/MOHAMED NURELDIN ABDALLAH

Sudan’s interim authorities have cancelled more than 3,500 passports issued to foreign residents by the government of ousted president Omar al-Bashir, the interior ministry announced on Thursday.

Sudanese media reported that the great majority of those affected were citizens of Arab countries, particularly Syria, who had paid Bashir aides a going rate of 10,000 dollars a head to obtain citizenship.

“On the interior ministry’s recommendation, the chairman of (Sudan’s top executive body) the Sovereignty Council, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, has decided to withdraw Sudanese citizenship from 3,548 naturalised residents,” the ministry said on Twitter.

“This decision was taken in the light of negative medical or security reports about the individuals concerned or because, in some cases, they obtained citizenship without meeting the necessary conditions.”

The ministry added that a committee was still reviewing other naturalisations approved by the Bashir regime.

In another measure, targeting an influx of Syrians since civil war broke out in the country in 2011, the ministry announced that Syrian nationals will now be required to obtain visas in advance rather than on arrival as previously.

Sudanese media reported that an estimated 150,000 Syrians currently reside in Sudan, many of them hoping to use the country as a stepping stone to a better life elsewhere.

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