"Getting to Juba, S. Sudan info for Journalists" Juba by sebblit7

Juba Travel Guide: 25 reviews and 63 photos

From Nairobi

**FLASHNEWS** as of 2 July 2011, journalists wishing to cover independence day should go here: http://www.goss.org/ for latest info on special accreditation procedures and schedule for 9 July '11.

Although I live in Johannesburg I prefer to acquire my travel permit in Nairobi because the process is much quicker. Info on gaining visa from Johannesburg/Pretoria is below.

GOSS - Government of Southern Sudan's office in Nairobi (6th Floor, Bishops Gate (bldg) cnr of Bishops Road and 5th Ngong Avenue, Nairobi) issues travel permits to Juba (and all ports of entry into Southern Sudan).

As of today, 14 June 2011. The requirements are as follows:

1. Photocopy of your valid passport (info page). The passport must be valid for the period of your stay in S. Sudan
2. 2 x clear, colour, recent, passport photo's (specific size doesn't seem to matter)
3. Letter from Company/News Editor/employer stating purpose of your visit, plus a photocopy of your company ID card, press card, etc.
4. Business people to supply details of appointments in S. Sudan.
5. Business people to supply letter of invitation from company in S. Sudan.
6. Photocopy of your valid Yellow Fever certificate

Until 12h30 - Application process
Take the lift to the 6th floor and ask the security staff in the lobby for application forms. They will advise you to make payment for the permit at the nearest KCB (Kenya Co-operative bank) which is about 5 minutes drive away in NSSF Building. Go to the bank and deposit:

US$85 for 6 month multiple entry visa (Valid for VIP, NGO/Journalist and faith based organisations)

or

US$50 for single entry visa.

Payment can also be made in KSH (Kenya Shillings) into a different bank account number, just check the instruction form they will give you at the security desk.

Take your deposit slip, along with all the above documentation, back to the GOSS Office and drop it with security before 12h30.

Waiting time is 48 Hours and collection of the permit is between 14h30 and 16h30. However, they will bend over backwards to accommodate Journalists, to the extent that I received my permit in 3 hours today, applied at 12h30, received permit at 15h30.

In order to get a rushed permit call: Mr. Pabek Ong'a (Immigration Officer) Cell: +254 72072 5362 or +254 7202 95345 or Mr. Jeff Okot on his cell: +254721454527 or email: jokot45@hotmail.com and explain your case to them, they are usually very friendly and helpful.

This permit will allow travel into any port of South Sudan, but will not give you access to Khartoum/North Sudan. You'll need to apply for a separate visa from the Sudanese embassy for this.

Google Map link: http://maps.google.co.ke/maps/place?cid=8626750945489953951&q=southern+sudan+office+nairobi&hl=en&ved=0CEcQ-gswAA&sa=X&ei=-nb3TcrqIMW_OZj8lbAI

From Johannesburg or Pretoria

GOSS Pretoria has a pretty decent website which explains everything: http://www.goss.org.za/

Basically you need to get a letter from them, which you then take to the Embassy of Sudan (North Sudan) in Pretoria and they supply you with a visa to Sudan. The problem is that you can wait weeks for the Northern Governments embassy to supply the visa, this is particularly the case with foreign media wishing to go to Juba.

The benefits are that you are now able to travel to both North and South Sudan on this visa.

Media accreditation process in Juba, South Sudan

Getting Press accreditation in Juba can take up to three days, so be prepared with extra patience points, getting into a fit and shouting is unlikely to get you very far, things move slowly and it's all about the guys boss/director not being there, in a meeting, etc. It's important to factor the time it takes to get accreditation into your schedule because being arrested for not having accreditation will lead to confiscation of material, imprisonment, etc. This hasn't happened to me because we always follow procedure, but I've been warned about it by local fixers.

On arrival, ask your driver to take you to the Ministry for information and Broadcasting, it's in the GOSS Juba ministerial village. Fill out a Press Visitor Form, give them a copy of your passport, a copy of your visa page (or a copy of your travel permit), a copy of your letter of assignment from your editor, (or made up by yourself... as you do :) as well as one passport photo. Pay US$50 per person and the guy will go to his bosses office for a few minutes (hopefully) and come back with your stamped and signed document with your photo attached. This first part of the process can be done before you arrive for you and your whole crew by your fixer. The whole crew does not have to present for this first part of the procedure, but they (everyone) will need to be present for the next step.

Now you need to head off to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Southern Sudan Police Service directorate of Public Safety and CID. Bear in mind you and EVERYONE in your crew, needs to personally go to the police office and be PERSONALLY, physically identified by the guy in that office. He will then probably tell you that his director is in a meeting and you should come back in a few hours, or the next day. This is the slowest part of the process coz his director always seems to be too busy.

Eventually you'll be given a "Letter of no objection" signed by the Chairperson for P/S and CID, basically saying they have no objection to you filming and requesting all security organs to cooperate accordingly. For this letter you must pay SDG25 per person (+-US$8).

IMPORTANT: Now you need to register with immigration!!

On arrival at Juba airport you'll recall that your passport visa page (or travel permit) will have been stamped to say "Registration within three days", this means they want you to register with the local home affairs/Immigration office with your passport and get your stay, beyond 3 days, formalised.

So, when you leave the security office, as you exit the door, look straight ahead and go across to the next building in front of you. It's the Internal Affairs - Immigration office. Fill out the required form which they'll give you, supply more photocopies, which they'll specify and get your passport and travel permit stamped again. This will cost you SDG160 per person (+-US$53)

They have a photocopy service here, where you can pay a few SDG to get copies made.

Now head back to Ministry for Info and Broadcasting and show them the "Letter of No Objection" and they will give you a press card (with no lanyard) which you can keep on your person, or buy your own lanyard at one of the many photo shops, to wear around your neck.

The press card is not laminated personally for you, with your photo incorporated into it, so you must carry your passport and "letter of no objection" with you at all times, because the police/army/plain clothed CID, will first inspect your press card and then ask to see the letter.

If you need a fixer in Juba who knows this process, and who can organise vehicle, hotel, stories, etc. contact Francis Butili: +249 910 512701 Email: fbutili@yahoo.com

Another fixer who can arrange car, hotel, accred, stories, etc. is: Mr. Kamil Kowa Makki on +249 913 791 404 or +249 927 430 171 Email: einourkowa@hotmail.com

Bear in mind
from 9 July South Sudan will be a new country, separate from North Sudan. So all the above info may change but I'm sure the numbers and emails supplied will help with any updated info.

Happy Travels.

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  • In a nutshell:Juba visa travel permit and media accreditation information for international foreign news media, journalists
  • Last visit to Juba: Jun 2011
  • Intro Updated Jul 3, 2011
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“You can go by camel in a bureau drawer. You can go by Bumble-Boat or jet. I don't care how you go, just GET!" Dr.Seuss”

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