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The citizenship dilemma of Southern Sudanese communities in the post-secession era in Khartoum

Mohamed A. G. Bakhit
p. 47-63


The aim of this paper is to investigate the processes of citizenship changes for South Sudanese citizens who were previously formally considered to be Sudanese citizens and have remained residents of Khartoum’s shantytowns since South Sudan gained independence in 2011.
The paper argues that there are currently two types of citizenship for the Southern Sudanese communities in Khartoum – legal citizenship and ‘community’ citizenship – and that this has allowed considerable numbers of people who do not enjoy legal citizenship to survive and support their social lives through community citizenship. ‘Community citizenship’ status differs from legal citizenship in terms of its dynamics and evolution, by which it is negotiated, constructed, and communicated through the interactions of Southern Sudanese people on a daily basis.
To what extent does this community citizenship give these people what they need, and to what degree can it protect them? These are the questions this paper will attempt to answer.

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