By: Yusuf M Hasan
MENELIK HOTEL, DJIBOUTI- (Somalilandsun) – The Somaliland passport is a recognized travel document in Djibouti.
I am currently a guest at the Menelik Hotel in Djibouti after I entered the country on a Somaliland passport which was readily accepted by immigration officers without queries or anything.
My Djibouti sojourn that comes on invitation to cover an international event on behalf of the Somalilandsun and Dawan media Group started with doubts and arguments with colleagues.
Although I have a valid passport from another country, I decided to travel with a Somaliland passport thus test the recent deal entered upon by the Vice president Hon. Abdirahman Sayli and the president of Djibouti H.E Ismail Omar Gelle in which the SL passport was accepted as a valid travel document in Djibouti.
A number of people told me that I am wasting my time and money for Djiboutian are never to be trusted, “They are chameleons” many told me.
This I could not believe, wondering why president Gelle would cheat our VP. Instead of breaking my resolve the many deterrents gave me the impetus to use our passport which I proceeded to apply and actually received in a period of 6 hours.
The ease of getting the passport was facilitated by a letter from the managing editor of Dawan Media Group Mr. Mohamed Osman Mire “Sayid” and the Director General Ministry of Information Mr. Abdirashid Jibril Youssef.
Having then acquired my Somaliland passport I proceeded to DAALLO Airlines who charged me $230 that include $60 visa charge of which they are responsible for at the Djibouti end. I boarded the Daalo Boeing 737 airplane Berbera international airport on Friday at 8 am, only to receive the surprise of my life when the pilot informed that the ETA Djibouti international airport was in 25 minutes.
True to his/her words, at 8.20 it was announced that we were about to land at the DIA where the temperature was 24 degrees. That is when my real fears began, not because of the anticipated heat but fear of the immigration department whom I had been duly informed by the many unbelieving Thomas’s in Hargeisa that they will put me in prison where I will most probably die of heat.
“Oh yee doubting Thomas’s the SL passport is truly a valid document in Djibouti”
To make a long story short, it was easier for me to process a visa at the Djibouti international airport than bearers of European union ones, thus Kudos to President Gelle and VP Sayli.
This achievement is thanks to a deal that was agreed upon by President Gelle and VP Sayli in late June during an official visit to Djibouti by a delegation led by the VP.
Other agreements reached then included
Enhancement Commercial and security relations
President Gelle to solicit foreign investors for Somaliland
Exchange of consular officers etc