The Directorate of Civil Registry, Nationality, Passport, and Immigration has deported more than 20 foreign nationals for entering the country without passports or travel documents.
Lt. Gen. Atem Marol Biar, the Director General of the Directorate of Civil Registry, Nationality, Passport, and Immigration, said the foreigners were last week caught by the immigration police at Juba International Airport.
“There are about 20 foreign nationals and they are already deported,” Biar said during a press conference held in Juba on Wednesday.
Ten foreigners had transited from Unity State and 13 others arrived in Juba from Paloch area of Upper Nile state.
“If we continue allowing people without documents to enter into the country then South Sudan will become a center for criminality and terrorism,” said Biar.
“I want to inform our people that what we are doing is for the safety of both the foreigners and the people of South Sudan,” he added.
Biar urged civil society organizations to refrain from negative criticism of immigration law enforcers in the aftermath of the deportation.
However, he did not want to reveal the nationalities of the deported foreigners after being pressed by journalists.
“What we are doing these days on deportation, we are working according to what was agreed in the region, we have conducted a lot of meetings on human trafficking, and the region agreed that we must fight human trafficking,” he disclosed.
Biar explained that the best way of fighting human trafficking is to identify people moving without documents.
“Yesterday, I was laughing when I saw people saying that those without documents shall not be deported if they kill somebody who is going to be blamed?” Biar wondered.
He said that they don’t have problems with those who have documents.
“If we continue allowing people to come without documents, the country will be a center of terrorism,” he reiterated.
He added that what they are doing is for the benefit of South Sudan and the East African region at large.
In the immigration department in January 2019 started registration of all foreign nationals living in the country in a bid to deter cross-border crime.
South Sudan shares a border with neighboring countries including Sudan, Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).