By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – Constraints in legal travel to Ethiopia are to be rectified by that country’s consulate in Hargeisa.
According to the Ethiopian deputy consul in Hargeisa Mr. Taye Tesfaye visas to Ethiopia will be available at the consulate from Wednesday (Tomorrow) after a fortnight’s hiatus that was occasioned by the exhaustion of necessary forms.
The deputy consul informed that the Ethiopian foreign ministry has replenished the visa application forms which arrived at the Hargeisa based consulate today, Said he, “all Somalilanders wishing to travel to Ethiopia should visit our consulate in Hargeisa for application.
During the media briefing where the resumption of visa issuance was announced, Consul Tesfaye who was asked whether the fortnights lack of visas was related to Ethiopian fear of terrorists, said that the issue of terrorism was not related to the visa issue, said he, “It is a fact that the visa application forms were depleted but they are available now”
The consul further informed that the Somaliland ministry of foreign affairs was aware of the reasons behind the break in visa issuance having been brought to par as soon as the anomaly occurred. Mr. Tesfaye also revealed that the minister of foreign affairs Dr Abdilahi Mohamed Omar played an impactful part in having the issue solved as soon as possible.
Somalilanders are constant Travellers to Ethiopia for a multitude of reasons be it commercial, medical, tourism, transit etc. thus the never ending demand for visas to that country that borders Somaliland to the west.
Since the withdrawal of Ethiopian airline flights three years ago ordinary Somalilanders and government officials travelling abroad have been utilizing road transport via the Wajale border point all the way to Addis Ababa thus acquire necessary travel documentation from various embassies in that city.
This need for road transport for those with sufficient travel funds was brought to an end by the 1st July 2012 resumption of the Ethiopian airways withdrawn flights that are now availed on a daily basis at the Berbera international airports.
According to officials of the regional carrier and Somaliland ministry of aviation, the airline will increase its flights to 2 a day once construction work at the Hargeisa based Egal international airport are completed by the end of this month.