The Sudanese Ministry of Interior has stopped renewing passports for those who are citizens by naturalization until the end of a review process to determine how they acquired the citizenship.
The ousted President Omer al-Bashir’s regime naturalized thousands of people and delivered passports, as they are widely believed to be affiliated with the International Organization of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Press reports spoke about mafia of leading members of the previous regime, including Bashir’s brother, that granted nationality to applicants in return for money.
“I have decided to stop renewing the passports of naturalized Sudanese citizens who obtained the nationality from January 1, 2014, to April 11, 2019,” said Interior Minister Altarifi Dafallah, in a tweet last weekend.
The Minister added he temporarily suspended naturalization of foreigners and all immigration transactions until the review of these files.
Dafallah called upon the naturalized Sudanese to contact the Identity and Registration Department of the Civil Registry Department at the Ministry of Interior, starting from 13 August. Also, he advised those outside the country to review the consulate service at the Sudanese embassies.
Last March, the head of the Sovereign Council, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan decided to denaturalize some 13,000 people who obtained Sudanese nationality during the former Islamist regime.
At the time, a member of the Sovereign Council Mohamed Faki Suleiman said that the al-Bashir regime delivered the Sudanese passport to religious extremists in return for money.
There are no official statistics for the number of naturalized foreigners, but reports indicate that members of Arab communities whose countries are experiencing civil war after the Arab Spring have easily obtained Sudanese citizenship after giving huge sums.