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Somaliland: Harassment of Citizens Galore at Wajaale, the Country’s main Border Town with Ethiopia
Tuesday, 11 March 2014 19:42

Journalist Janale HarassedJournalist Janale Harassed

By: Osman A.M.

WAJALE (Somalilandsun) - An Ethiopian immigration official manning the border point of Wajale has of lately been a burden to Somaliland citizens travelling to Ethiopia due to his sheer disregard of their rights coupled with open discrimination & segregation directed to Somalilanders despite fulfilling all the essential prerequisites required for travelers crossing the border.

Mustafa Abdi Mohamed is a journalist with Hadhwanagnews, a Somali language website based in Hargeisa was irked by Abdilahi Jarso's disregard & open discrimination for Somaliland citizens after the later denied him access to attend an official duty in Jigjiga, the headquarters of the Somali dominated semi-autonomous region of Ethiopia.

He narrates,

"I was to attend an official duty of collecting news items from a function in Jigjiga town, having a Somaliland passport with one month visa which I acquired at Ethiopian consulate in Hargeisa, I was intercepted at Wajale border check point by one Abdillahi Jarso, an Ethiopian immigration officer who openly told me to go back to where I come from as he does not recognize neither my passport nor my country".

The journalist thereafter went to complain over the officer's conduct to his immediate boss at the Ethiopian immigration offices in Wajale but could not be offered an explanation for the reasons for being treated with no considerations for his rights.

The ordeal met by the citizens of Somaliland & those from the Somali dominated semi-autonomous region of Ethiopia cannot escape unnoticed & if the harassment persists then it may soar the diplomatic relations of the two neighboring nations which have enjoyed good neighborhood over sometimes. This in itself is contrary to the treatment accorded to Ethiopian population residing in major towns of Somaliland with most of them working for gain in different commercial enterprises.

wajale border crossing point wajale border crossing point

Shukri Nur Muhumed, a 38 year old mother travelling with her 3 year old ailing child narrates the ordeal she encountered at the border point stating,

"I possess a Somaliland passport with a visa issued at Ethiopia's consulate in Hargeisa & on arriving at Wajale border point with my 3 year old sick child, an Ethiopian immigration officer one, Abdillahi Jarso asked for my passport & on handing him, he inquired about the child's visa to which I responded that I have not acquired it yet while at the same time informing him about the sickness of the young kid. Alas! to my amazement he threw the passport at my face insisting that he doesn't have time to hear the health status of the kid. Thereafter I went outside the immigration premises & stood in the scorching sun for more than two hours till about 1300 hrs before the same officer re-emerging from his office and inquiring if I had 1000 Birr to facilitate the kid's visa. Due to the deteriorating health of the young one I could not think of negotiating for a cut in price albeit the exorbitance of the initial amount. I immediately paid the 1000 Birr for the child's visa before being cleared & on crossing the border I met two middle aged women who further informed me of their ordeal in the hands of Mr. Abdillahi Jarso who made them wait for more than 24 hrs upon taking their Ethiopian travel permits & since I could not offer them help I just wished Allah to come to their rescue".

Ali Aw Jama Nur, an Ethiopian citizen hailing from the Somali-dominated semi-autonomous region was returning to his home town of Daror following a short sojourn in Hargeisa. He gave an account of the ordeal he encountered in the hands of Abdillahi Jarso stating,

"I have an Ethiopian permit issued at Daror town that I had initially used to travel with to Hargeisa where I had few issues to attend to & on finishing I was returning back home before being intercepted at the border check point by one Abdillahi Jarso, an Ethiopian immigration officer. He first asked for my papers & on handing him my permit he dared arresting me if I did not go back to where I come from (Hargeisa) it is because of this that I decided to return to Hargeisa".

May the Ethiopian consulate in Hargeisa do something before the situation gets out of hand? For if we are not part of the solution then we are definitely part of the problem!

Must Read Traveling Luck for Tog Wajaale



+1 #9 Abdi 2014-03-12 18:11
We should do the same thing to them too at the borders of somaliland and people there are other place to enter ethiopia like in the north of somaliland please do not give or spend your money in the zone 5 they all are haters of SOMALILAND so the more you give them money the more they will hate you SOMALILAND please people find a onther route good luck one love SOMALILAND.
-1 #8 Jacfar 2014-03-12 13:03
Don't blame the immigration officer, he is right. No country in the world will allow any body to travel without travel documents no matter how old they are, the child did not have visa or travel document so the officer is right to demand his travel documents. That aside, there are restrictions on Reporters unlike Somaliland so I'm not surprised this reporter has been denied entry to the country, I think he lied to the Embassy when he was filling his visa application form the reason he was travelling to Ethiopia, I think he wouldn't have been given a visa if he said he was a reporter or at least they would have made some arrangements for him , no such a thing as freedom of press in Ethiopia, ours is "Jaantaa rogan"
+1 #7 Jigjiga 2014-03-12 11:50
It is good helping each other but tightens the boarder is reality, cause security and stabity of the region. We will accept any passport, weather somaliland, Somali, putland. Our main concern is the security of jigjiga.
+3 #6 Abraham 2014-03-12 10:38
Somalilanders don't know how to bring to justice the crooks who abuse their power and duties to corruptly enrich themselves. Instead of complaining here, you guys should form a committee to get to the bottom of what is happening. Go to the Ethiopian consulate in Hargeisa and tell them what happened. Also write to the government in Jigjiga and expain to them the situation. If nothing is done by these two entities. Then write to the Ethiopian Ministry of Interior in Addis Ababa and demand an explanation of their officers' conduct. If the letter is not answered then go to Addis Ababa by air and complain to the Ministry of Interior in person, giving them the details of all the corrupt officials. If the Ministry does not resolve this issue, complain take the matter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and to the prime minister's office. I am sure this issue will be resolved at some stage before it reaches the federal government.
0 #5 cimraan 2014-03-12 09:55
This tells you one thing. Be self sufficient. Have what you need in your own home. It is sad that Somaliland and for Somalia for that matter can't have by a hospital that can take care of people regard less of what ailment that might happen to them.
+3 #4 Ugaas 2014-03-12 07:59
All journalist are enemy to Ethiopia, it doesn't matter if your Somali or not. Anybody who has the capability of reporting the truth is a enemy to Ethiopia and that is nothing new specially in the Ogaden region. As A Ogadenman it hurts to hear and see things like this, a Ethiopian telling Somali foks where they can go and not in their own land.
-5 #3 caydiid 2014-03-12 06:57
nowhere to go using somali land passport. closest place go to garowe no more easy like before. bad time.
+2 #2 Ainanshe 2014-03-11 23:26
Janale, the somali language website journalist, in Ethiopia there are controls in place to guard journalistic activities and a blockage what they can transmit. IMO Abdullahi Jarso is right to reject your entry to Jigjiga, FYI Jigjiga is part of Ogaden that is under reporting gag order against ONLF activities barring foreign reporters from reporting the bad stuff Liyuu has on the people.
+1 #1 sharmarke 2014-03-11 22:02
Ethiopians ingeneral consider somalilanders and somalis dirt. They hate us. Y r so many of us going there???? Why can we not make all the facilities and services ready in our country

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