February 22, 2013
Officials in Northern Bahr el Ghazal state in South Sudan are refusing to issue national ID cards to members of the Fulani tribe, insisting that they are not eligible -- because they're not South Sudanese.
Manot Mareng, the director for Migration, IDs and Passports in the state capital, Aweil, said that only people who have lived without interruption in what is now South Sudan since 1956 are eligible for ID documents. In the case of the Fulanis, that has not always been the case, he said.
"Some left the south and they went north, and they only recently came here. The law can’t allow them to get a nationality ID because [their stay] was interrupted,” he said.
The Fulani, who are also known as the Falata, argue that they have lived in the area since 1917 and deserve national IDs and passports.
But in spite of their insistence that they are South Sudanese, Issa said only five Fulani have been given national IDs or passports so far.