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Atem vows to fight corruption in immigration

Atem vows to fight corruption in immigration


The Director-General of Civil Registry, Nationality, Passports, and Immigration (DCRNPI) Lt. Gen. Atem Marol Biar, has pledged a commitment to provide equity and satisfactory services to all citizens.
Maj. Gen. Atem Marol Biar said they were already at the peak of freeing the directorate from corruption, bribery, and other malpractices.

He spoke to The City Review in an exclusive interview after the paper published an investigative piece implicating junior officers in opaque practices within the immigration.

Maj. Gen Atem said the directorate had recovered passport booklets from officers who had turned them into their sources of income.

He reiterated that his efforts had eased the fight for documents.

“When I came into the office, there were a lot of passports that were printed but not picked. It was a total waste of materials, so they were removed and given to their owners. Some passport booklets held by some people in the community were recovered,” he said.

“Fighting corrupt practices was my first effort in the office. I have arrested 15 people so far who were involved in criminal acts. Now, the priority is staff welfare,” Lt. Gen. Atem said.

He revealed that he has set his eyes on solving mobility problems in the directorate as part of his plans for the New Year. The immigration boss said this was vital for his subjects so that they could deliver.

“When we were in the bush fighting, we used to command a number of soldiers and move on foot. Now we are almost done with the issue of transport. I understand how important it is to make sure that the environment is conducive for subjects. This is very important,” Atem explained.

“I shall make sure that the materials are available so that the issue of congestion is solved. We are coordinating with the government, especially the ministry of finance, to make sure that the balance is paid so that the documents that can fully sustain the country are brought,” he said.

The director-general said they had tried so hard to work hand in hand with the Sudanese government so that they would accept travel documents for travelling to Khartoum.

“Before I came here, people were not using travel documents to go to Khartoum, but now, it is possible. We talked to the Sudanese government, and now, they have accepted our travel documents. People go to Sudan now using travel documents,” Lt. Gen. Atem stressed.

Warning against bribery

He added that after the issue of passports is over, they would switch to other developmental strategies for the benefit of the citizens. He warned against paying or receiving bribes, saying that those who pay bribes are also criminals.

He said that, legally, any person who gives bribery is considered to be a party to the actual crime of bribery.

The Director of Legal Affairs and Crime Control, Brig. Mading Majak called on the media to step up in highlighting areas of corruption so that they could be kicked out. He applauded the media for digging out corrupt practices, saying it was the only way justice could be achieved.

Majak stressed that they were striving to open more stations in states and within Juba to eradicate the backlog, which increases corruption, especially when people struggle to get documents.

“We will soon open more stations in Juba and the states. These will include separate stations for the army and organised forces to stop conflicting with civilians. This will help relieve congestion, and this place (current directorate) will be used for administrative purposes only,” Brig Majak said.

Step forward

In May 2021, President Salva Kiir relieved the Director-General of the Directorate of Civil Registry, Nationality, Passports, and Immigration, Lt. Gen. John Maluth, and replaced him with Lt. Gen. Atem Marol Biar.

But Maluth’s administration faced problems with the processing of nationality and passports for citizens, resulting in unreasonable delays.


But taking over, Atem raised revenue so that passport booklets could be available to citizens, renovated washrooms, and constructed a lofty dining room for the comfort of the staff.

In December 2021, Atem disclosed that over 40,000 booklets had been received from Germany for processing regular passports and nationality certificates to relieve congestion.

“We have received 43,000 booklets for regular passports. It was actually a problem for the whole year, and we received 50,000 NCs. So, I want to assure you that next year, 2022, there will be no problem with regular passports in South Sudan because the number we received now is a big number; it will push us to half of this year”, he stated.

“I want to inform the people who actually completed the process of passports that the NCs will come during Christmas time to collect their documents. We are not closing,” he added.

In November 2021, the director-general said the government had paid $3.4 million to Muhlbauer, a German company, to procure passport booklets and nationality certificates. He said there was an additional $3 million that should be paid for printing additional passport booklets and nationality certificates.

“The Ministry of Finance paid $1.4 million to the German company, Muhlbauer, and now we are left with a balance of $5 million, and it will be cleared by the government very soon,” he told the press.

In November 2021, 5,000 booklets and 49,000 nationality certificates were brought, but there was already a shortage after this. Maj. Gen Atem gave priority to students studying outside the country and patients seeking medical attention abroad.

“Today we have received 4,400 regular passports and 49,500 NC for nationality, so we have issued for nationality. There is no problem again. Yes, I know the large number in the system, but we are not going to use just random printing. You will come so that we can print it for you,” he stated.

Via The City Review



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