By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – For the first time the Ethiopian embassy in Hargeisa is providing visas to citizens of neigbouring countries like Puntland and Somalia.
According to the Head of public diplomacy and Diaspora affairs at the Ethiopian embassy in Hargeisa Mr Mulugeta Anagaw this development is as a result of the Closure of the Ethiopian Consulate in Puntland as well as an influx of south Somalia citizens overland bound to Addis Ababa where they board flights to for various destinations worldwide.
During a candid interview with journalist Walaleye at the Embassy in Hargeisa Mr Mulugeta Anagaw also denied knowledge of any arrests to persons by Ethiopia Zone five administrations in Jigjiga travelling on visas issued by the Hargeisa based embassy.
“I have heard about this rumours but investigations so far indicate otherwise” said the diplomat who revealed that if there are any Arrests the local regional administration in Jigjiga must possess good reasons and through cross border legal agreements between Somaliland and Ethiopia the issue shall be solved diplomatically and amicably.
The Diplomat who informed that the closure of his country’s consulate in Puntland has resulted in Somali passport holders applying for Ethiopian Visa in Hargeisa said, “We are currently receiving over 50 visa applications on a daily basis making us among the busiest Embassy in the world”
Apart for the many new applicants daily the embassy is now handling over 100 people which include those making follow-ups on their applications or those whose requests are on hold for reasons related to none fulfillment of visa requirements.
Hopeful that this heavy work load that is encumbering applications by Somalilanders who are the rightful beneficiaries of such services the Diplomat said the Puntland consulate that was closed due to Human resource difficulties shall be reopened soon thence back to normal operations and ease of availing somalilander’s visas.
Revealing that the embassy had in the past that is before Puntland consulate closure issued Somali passport holders with visas in Hargeisa Mr Mulugeta Anagaw said, “Those visas were issued upon proof of special circumstances chiefly fulfillment of application requirements and the Embassy being satisfied that the applicant was legally in Somaliland.