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Kenana - 10 Apr 2012

Bus from Renk sent back by Sudanese authorities

Bus passengers from South Sudan travelling to Khartoum were reportedly sent back to Renk by Sudanese authorities. The bus was stopped and searched in Kenana yesterday as it crossed the border of the White Nile state: the route most Southeners use to reach Sudan.

The incident occured a day after the Sudanese government officially stopped making exceptions for South Sudanese civilians staying in Sudan without official identification papers.

The South Sudanese passengers expressed their discontent with the authorities of the White Nile after they were not allowed to travel further up North.

The administrator of Southern Jowda told Radio Tamazuj the authorities insulted the bus passengers and searched their belongings. He said some students got permission to continue traveling after they showed their student cards to the authorities. The administrator stressed local authorities should sit down and tackle the issue so that 'in the future, Southeners crossing borders will be treated with respect'.

Osama Ahmed, admistrator of Northern Jowda said he regretes yesterday's incident. He particularly feels for retired South Sudanese people who were among the passengers. They were on their way to Khartoum, where they used to work before South Sudan's independence, to collect official documents to arrange their retirement.