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South Sudan Urges France to Issue More Visas for Olympic Games Fans

South Sudan has called on France to issue more visas to South Sudanese fans for the Olympic Games, which will be held in Paris from July 26 to August 11. This issue was discussed in a meeting between South Sudanese Foreign Minister Ramadan Mohammed Goc and French Ambassador Christian Bader

South Sudan Urges France to Issue More Visas for Olympic Games Fans

The French government has introduced stricter visa requirements for South Sudanese fans to mitigate the risk of overstaying their visas. “The Minister welcomed the ambassador and extensively discussed matters concerning visa challenges to South Sudanese nationals as well as France nationals visiting South Sudan for official business,” said Minister Goc.

Ambassador Bader expressed support for the people of South Sudan and highlighted potential investment opportunities in the world's newest country. He acknowledged the importance of visas for South Sudanese fans, noting that for some, this would be their first time traveling abroad.

Foreign Minister Goc informed the Sudan Tribune that they are exploring all options, including the possibility of some athletes or fans extending their stay in France after the Olympic Games. "Assurances have been given during several meetings held by the minister of youth and sports and the minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation on the one hand and the ambassador of France on the other and assurances have been made that all our fans and players, at least they are carrying the passport of French and other European countries. Those who do not have these other passports apart from holding a passport from South Sudan will return after the games are over," stated Goc.

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Goc expects that relations with France will grow closer, as South Sudan is keen on developing mutual relations with many other countries.

Concerns about South Sudanese nationals overstaying their visas make France hesitant to grant Schengen visas. South Sudan, which declared its independence in 2011, has one of the youngest populations globally, with a median age of 16.4 years in 2022. It is also one of the poorest countries, with 80 percent of its population living below the absolute poverty line, according to Relief Web. Additionally, 8.9 million people in South Sudan require humanitarian assistance.

These factors contribute to France’s cautious approach to granting visas to South Sudanese fans. There have been instances in recent years where fans or athletes from African countries used Schengen visas to apply for asylum in the EU, which further complicates the situation.



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