Sudan's split has made half a million people foreigners in their own land

 

Sudan's painful divorce has created more than half a million stateless orphans as a deadline passed for those the north considers southerners to leave or register as foreigners.

Hundreds of thousands of Sudanese, many of whom were born in cities such as Khartoum and have never visited the south, will now be considered "foreigners" in the Arab-dominated north after a transition period ended yesterday.

Nine months after South Sudan seceded to become the world's newest country, as many as 700,000 people have been stripped of their nationality because of family links to the south or religious affiliation.

The separation came after nearly half a century of civil war often pitting a predominantly African and Christian south against the majority Arab and Muslim north. However, the clean lines of separation suggested by a north-south confessional conflict have always jarred with the more complex mosaic of peoples and faiths on the ground.

For people like Osman, a 35-year-old engineer who lives in Khartoum who declined to give his second name, the undeveloped south is no more than a notional homeland.

"I am a victim of southern secession. I was born and raised in the north, have never been to the south and my wife is from the north," he told Associated Press. An Arabic speaker who doesn't share a language with the southern tribes or speak any English, he now faces a frightening limbo in which he risks separation from his family. "I want to stay in Sudan but the government does not allow it."

The southern exodus has been a "logistical nightmare" according to the International Organisation for Migration, who have assisted some 23,000 people to move, mainly by river. Huge barges have been arriving in the southern capital Juba almost daily for the past year, often carrying people who have left behind the wealthier and more developed north for a new country with few roads and almost no infrastructure.

The birth of a country in the south stranded millions of Sudanese on the wrong side of a contentious border. Tens of thousands of returnees who took the land route south have found themselves living in camps surviving on handouts. And the bitter conflict that led southerners to vote overwhelmingly for independence last year has left a legacy of mistrust and border disputes that threaten to provoke a new war.

A summit of the two countries' leaders scheduled for last week was cancelled after fresh clashes in the border area where the south has accused the north of bombing targets in the oil-rich Unity State.

Suggested Topics
News
Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal
peopleThreats follows actress' speech on feminism and equality at the UN
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
Life and Style
tech
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
News
i100
Life and Style
life
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Account Executive/Sales Consultant – Permanent – Hertfordshire - £16-£20k

£16500 - £20000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

KS2 PPA Teacher needed (Mat Cover)- Worthing!

£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Crawley: KS2 PPA Teacher currently nee...

IT Systems Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

IT Application Support Engineer - Immediate Start

£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits