15th April 2024
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Eng. Stephen discloses origin of South Sudan’s ‘SSD’ and ‘211’ codes

Author: Moyo Jacob | Published: Thursday, March 14, 2024

Engineer Juma Stephen, the former Undersecretary of the Ministry of Information - March 14, 2024 - Courtesy

The former Undersecretary of the Ministry of Information has clarified the SSD Alpha Three Code is not linked to any tribe, contrary to misinterpretation among some South Sudanese.

Juma Stephen says, South Sudan was given Alpha Three Code ‘SSD’ instead of Alpha Two ‘SS’ after Israel rejected to vote, saying it bears a Nazi symbol.

South Sudan Aluminum License Plate Number Plate

This clarification was made on Thursday, March 14, 2024, during the fourth edition of Connect South Sudan, an initiative of the National Communication Authority.

The initiative serves as an opportunity for service providers, regulators, and representatives of consumer interest groups as well as stakeholders to offer feedback on various service deliveries.

Juma says South Sudan was given the Alpha Two Code ‘SS’ although Israel rejected what they said bears the Nazi symbol.

“Our time was Juba-Geneva, Juba-Khartoum, Juba-Addis Ababa, just moving up and down for the success of the codes and the number of them starts with Alpha Two, Alpha Three Codes,” said Engineer Stephen.

“The Alpha Three Code ‘SSD’ is a joke here in Juba. Some of you are saying that SSD is something related to some tribes, but no. It is not like that. So, it is not South Sudan for Dinka”, he said.

“We were in Geneva, and we were given this code, SSD is Alpha Three code which is used now for our passports, also you have the plate numbers, it is used there”.

On a 211 Code, the former Undersecretary said it was chosen based on the connection of the referendum with January.

“We have Alpha Two Code ‘SS’ it was a tag of war to be given that ‘SS’. They are saying, five countries are to give the Code, Israel was rejecting that South Sudan will not be given the ‘SS’ because of the Nazi symbol,” Eng. Stephen said.

“It went to a vote, and we were given ‘SS’ and Israel did not vote for it,” he said.

“The other Code ‘211’ there were many options for us such as ‘212’, ‘211’, and ‘279’ but we selected ‘211’ for the reason that our referendum connected with January. So, that was the reason we selected the code for South Sudan which is 211”.

The Alpha-3 code system, officially called the “International Standard ISO 3166-1 Alpha-3 Codes,” is a standardized system developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to represent countries and territories.

Each country and territory is assigned a unique three-letter code for easy identification and data processing in various applications such as databases, international trade, and communication protocols.

South Sudan, which gained independence from Sudan on July 9, 2011, was assigned the Alpha-2 and Alpha-3 country codes.

This assignment was part of updating the ISO 3166-1 standard to recognize South Sudan as a sovereign nation.

Assigning Alpha-3 codes typically involves coordination between the ISO and relevant stakeholders, including national governments, international organizations, and standardization bodies.

In the case of South Sudan, after its independence was internationally recognized, it applied for and was granted the Alpha-3 code “SSD” through the standard procedures established by the ISO.

Overall, the assignment of the Alpha-3 code “SSD” to South Sudan was a recognition of its status as an independent nation by the international community, facilitating its integration into various global systems and processes.

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