As the Somaliland ministry of foreign affairs terms the move as one internal to Ethiopian Authorities thence bilateral status same as always
By: Yusuf M Hasan
Somaliland sun – The Ethiopia Consulate in Hargeisa is currently issuing visas only to state officials and applicants with emergency issues related to medical treatment.
According to a Somalilandsun source within the consulate the cessation of visa issuance is a temporary move occasioned by prevalence of a small number of visa stickers at the General Consulate in Hargeisa, “we shall resume issuance of visas to the general public as soon as sufficient stocks of the stickers are delivered from the foreign ministry in Addis Ababa” it was revealed from within the semi Embassy.
According to the source the anomaly has been occasioned by the large number of visas that the Consulate issues on a daily basis thus surpassing the allotted share due to the huge demand for travel to Ethiopia by Somalilanders either seeking medical attention, business or tourism among others.
The halt that has seen only a few people secure visas mostly on emergencies basis has resulted in a drastic reduction in the number of people traversing from Somaliland to Ethiopia as opposed to regular heights in which almost a hundred people crisscross the borders legally on a daily basis.
On the hand the government of Somaliland has termed the halt in visa issuance as a matter internal to Ethiopian authorities thus not reflective of bilateral relations between the two countries that remain as firm as ever.
This was stated by the deputy minister of foreign affairs Ahmed Aden Ismail ‘Ahmed Keyse’ during an interview with geeska newspaper in Hargeisa where he stressed on the fact that issuance of visas to Ethiopia is a prerogative of the General Consulate and devoid of any influence by his ministry.
The Hargeisa based consulate last reviewed its Visa issuance procedures and charges to Somaliland in December of 2014.
Though Somaliland is not internationally recognized as a sovereign Country, Ethiopia was the first to establish direct diplomatic ties and continues to maintain a fully fledged General Consulate courtesy of a partnership that revolves around security, Commerce and cross border movement of peoples has a strong Economic interdependence pact that is regular reviewed by officials from both administrations.
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