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Submission to the AU Peace and Security Council on the right to a nationality in the context of the referendum in Southern Sudan
Citizenship Rights in Africa Initiative
26 January 2011
The undersigned civil society organizations, who are supporters of the Citizenship Rights in Africa Initiative, a campaign for the right to nationality in Africa, present our complements to the members of the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC). We make this submission to request the PSC to take all necessary steps to ensure that the right to a nationality is respected for all following the anticipated secession of Southern Sudan to become a new state on 9 July 2011, and, in case of need, to take appropriate steps to ensure that this question does not form the basis for a serious conflict between the two states. (…)

(…)In summary, we urge you to ensure that, in the interests of the peace and security of the region, both the Republic of Sudan and the future government of South Sudan rapidly adopt nationality laws that, at minimum:

• Do not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, language, religion, gender or any similar ground prohibited by the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights;
• Provide those who have a connection to both states with a right to opt for their preferred nationality during a transitional period;
• Provide for dual nationality between north and south; and, at minimum, permit dual nationality by naturalisation following the option for an initial nationality;
• Provide for due process in the process of withdrawal or grant of nationality; and
• Provide guarantees against statelessness.

We reiterate our commitment to work closely with the PSC for the realisation of these objectives and assure you of our greatest respect.

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