Open Letter from Sudan Uprising to the German Foreign Office

People cannot escape the war in Sudan because their passports are trapped in the German Embassy.


Dear employees of the German Foreign Office

We, members of the Sudanese Diaspora in Germany, and people with friends and family in Sudan, appeal to you with the urgent request that you release the passports of Sudanese citizens, which were inside the German embassy in Khartoum at the outbreak of war, and that you return them to their owners.

On 15th April, 2023, war broke out in Sudan. In Khartoum and other cities military and militia are fighting against each other, at the expense of the civil population. They are destroying the country with firearms and air fire, and buildings are burning as a result of explosives. Already over 500 people have been killed.

The war has caused 330,000 people to flee, and over 100,000 have already crossed the border into other countries. People whose passports were in the German embassy on 15th April for processing and visa issue have been unable to cross the border. The situation in Sudan is very critical. There are no administrative structures and prices are rising drastically, making it impossible for people to apply for new passports.

This puts them in a difficult situation and forces them to stay trapped by the war. Even in places where there is currently no fighting, the humanitarian situation is getting worse. This means that people without passports are being left behind.

In your press release on 3rd Mai 2023, you accepted that “a three-digit number of passports” is affected. Despite personal inquiries, the number of people who are directly affected has not been released. It is incomprehensible how – in the globally networked and digitalised world of the 21st Century – passports cannot be quickly returned, at the very least in digital format.

We request you to perform the following actions immediately:

  • Immediate return of all Sudanese passports to their owners

  • Enable people to flee from Sudan

  • Evacuate all Sudanese citizens with German passports or visas to Germany.

  • Publish the exact number of affected people and transparently explain how these cases will proceed.

  • Facilitate family reunions immediately, not just for Sudanese people in Germany, but also for people from other countries who have family members in Sudan and are living here, for example, people from Syria, Eritrea, Ethiopia or Yemen.

We unequivocally urge you to act quickly. We are worried about our families and friends, whose lives are in danger. The large-scale evacuation of German citizens showed that Germany is able to act quickly and professionally. We ask you urgently to also do this for non-German citizens. Not least, we want to make you aware of the ethical responsible of Germany. We find ourselves in a situation in which the lives of human beings are being put into danger by bureaucratic procedures.

Yours sincerely

Sudan Uprising Germany