- Afghan refugees awaiting evacuation at Kabul airport on 23 August 2021 (AFP photo)
September 28, 2021 (JUBA)- South Sudan says it is now hosting 40 Afghan nationals who have made their way into the country without clearance from the government.
The Director-General of Immigration, Passports, Nationality, and Civil Registry Gen. Atem Marol Biar said he was surprised over reports of the presence of 40 Afghan nationals in the country without the knowledge of the authorities
He made the remarks on Thursday morning last week during a briefing to sector commanders who have been deployed across the city.
“It is true the country is hosting Afghan nationals. We did not know how they came. I was not aware that Afghans who were fighting in their country are already here with us in South Sudan. I released this in the report to the leadership of the country that they have 40 people here with us who all stay in one place. And I alerted the leadership of the country during my briefing”, said Biar
The top immigration officials said has information and reports before him showing foreign nationals apart from Afghans, were in the country without proper documents. Our problem is only one.
“Our borders are porous and there is war. Some foreign nationals are taking advantage of the situation of war to enter the country illegally. And when they know they are in the country illegally, they opt to stay in remote places and because of the situation of the country, our capacity is strained to reach such places even though we do get such information from our network and cooperation with the communities. Now we have released in the report that there are people from specific countries who stay in a specific place,” said Biar.
He urged the immigration officers to cooperate with members of the public and other security organs to conduct the operation in a polite way to avoid confrontations with foreigners who are not registered with the immigration.
“I want you to cooperate with them because we cannot develop this country alone and report those who fight with you to me so that we notify their embassy officials about the actions, and I urge you not to fight with foreigners”.
He pointed out that the objective of conducting search and cooperation with members of the public and other security organs is for security reasons because big numbers of foreigners in South Sudan have no documents and that it will be very difficult to identify them when they are involved in crime.
He said his office has identified some of the areas where foreigners enter South Sudan without legal immigration documents and that they have plans to establish immigration offices to regulate entry in those areas.
“We have already identified the routes this foreign use to enter the country. We have porous borders with Uganda, with Sudan, with the Central African Republic, with Democratic Republic Congo and with Kenya. In all these entry points, we do not have offices although there are security organs there. Their knowledge of how to deal with foreign nationals is limited”, Biar explained.
He advised officers to protect all foreigners in the country because it is the responsibility of the immigration department to provide them with security.