Canadian and US citizens who are being prevented from leaving South Sudan should not expect any consular assistance at the Juba airport from their governments, according to travel advisories sent by email yesterday.
Several governments including those of India, Germany and the United States have organized military evacuation flights from Juba after days of violence left hundreds dead in the city.
Commercial flights to the capital Juba were suspended for about five days but have since resumed.
In the meantime, South Sudanese nationals are being blocked from leaving, including those with foreign passports. Authorities have even confiscated the passports of some of these dual citizens, the Canadian government reported.
At least 20 Americans of South Sudanese origin yesterday were prevented from boarding evacuation flights, a witness at the airport reported yesterday.
In an advisory, the US State Department said that “the Government of South Sudan is scrutinizing the travel documents of dual nationals, with an apparent focus on South Sudanese government and political affiliation, particularly of male dual nationals.”
“As a result of this scrutiny, there have been delays and some U.S.-South Sudanese dual nationals have been prohibited from leaving the country.”
Global Affairs Canada issued a similar warning, saying, “Airport authorities in Juba have prevented some dual citizens who entered South Sudan on their South Sudanese passport from leaving the country using their Canadian passport when they did not have the proper residence permit in their Canadian passport.”
“Some dual citizens in this situation have had their Canadian passport confiscated. There are also reports that local authorities have detained South Sudanese citizens attempting to leave the country using foreign passports,” adds the advisory, which was disseminated by email.
“The Government of Canada does not currently have the ability to provide consular and other support at the airport.”
In another development, the US government announced that there will be no US-chartered flights today to assist in evacuations, saying, “Commercial airlines are restoring regularly scheduled flights to and from Juba. If you wish to leave South Sudan, you are encouraged to use commercial airlines.”