Sudan plans to cancel citizenship of southerners

South Sudan became Africa’s newest nation on Saturday after voting in January for independence in a referendum agreed under a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war with the north.

Under the bill requiring final reading by the government-controlled assembly, anyone taking up citizenship of the new Republic of South Sudan will lose Sudanese nationality, SUNA said.

The move will add to the legal uncertainty of southerners in the north. Around 300,000 have left to return home but more than 1 million are still in the north where they have been living for decades after escaping the war that killed 2 million people.

Tens of thousands have been stranded on the way home waiting for transport or financial assistance, the United Nations’ refugee agency UNHCR says.

Economists say many southerners will stay in the north to find work as the underdeveloped and war-ravaged south offers few opportunities.

Sudan and South Sudan have yet to agree on a range of issues such as sharing oil revenues, assets or ending border violence.

The northern central bank said earlier this week it would end the joint banking system with the southern central bank and treat banks from South Sudan like any other foreign institute.

Both countries also plan to launch their own currencies.