Citizens, Civil Societies Appeal for Passport Cost Reduction

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JUBA - South Sudan passports processes have begun before the formal declaration of the Republic of South Sudan on 9th July whereby the first batch was opened only to the diplomats and government officials.   Today citizens are appealing to the authorities in the Republic of South Sudan in charge of issuing passports and other important documents to reduce the cost to affordable prices for all South Sudanese.  Speaking to the Citizen Newspaper yesterday, the Country Director Jacob Chol Atem for Organization Community Initiative Support Program (CISP) one of South Sudan Civil Society groups reaffirmed the appeals made by the citizens to the government as a good move.   According to Atem three hundred South Sudanese Pounds is not an affordable price as the cost of South Sudanese passports and urged the government to reduce the price to one hundred forty or twenty SSP so that all can access.  “The issue of national identity cards is vital and we want our community to have access to our new  national identity cards of the Republic of South Sudan and the government should speed up processing it,” Atem said.   The price of national identity card needs also to be streamlined in order for the rural community to possess it with lower cost, Atem proposed.   Meanwhile Daniel Wani Sebit a student called upon the authority that issuing of passports at high cost will discourage the citizens from acquiring this national document and therefore the authority should come up with suitable price.   “We are still celebrating our independence and we also want our authority to have mercy on its citizens by introducing good price for the passports and other important documents that require South Sudanese to have,” Sebit said.  He further noticed the long process that is followed by the citizen before acquiring a passport and estimated the period before getting it to be three or two weeks and appealed for this long process to be reduced.  Philip Majak a 57 year old man expressed disappointment about the complicated experience that South Sudanese faced during the Arab rule in Sudan by preventing them to have equal access to citizenships which was always determined by national identity cards and passports. He said now that South Sudan is independent, the authority should render services to the citizens on new basis to guarantee that all of them should be legible to such important documents without distinction.

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