By: Yusuf M Hassan
WAJALE (Somalilandsun) – Citizens of Ethiopia and Somaliland are conducting cross-border trade and movement just as they have done for years.
This is contrary to much touted reports of Ethiopians closing their all border entry points from Somaliland ensuing in a number of high level discussions between the two governments.
A spot check and conversations with Wajalians both Ethiopian and Somalilanders indicate that border closure has never happened in their part of the woods where commercial activities are brisk and movement from one country to the other is in its hundreds on any given day.
To verify this, Somalilandsun travelled to Wajale, of course the Somaliland side of the border first and immediately crossed over to Ethiopia without any deterrence apart from a casual frisking by an Abyssinian immigration officer especially interested in cameras.
The only problem observed was the huge discrepancy between the two Wajales with the Ethiopian one looking and acting townish , with over ten Banks operating and the wide asphalt road said to take one anywhere in the country.
In comparison Wajale Somaliland is made drab by the muddy roads that crisscross the town and the large numbers of men perpetually engaged in the business of munching Khat, a herbal stimulant, 24/7. But on the way out and after less than a kilometer is the just completed asphalt road all the way to Hargeisa.
As for the alleged border closures, government officials can continue negotiating and journalists writing lengthily articles as to the pros and cons while the people, Wajalians and others with business to conduct or for leisure between Somaliland and Ethiopia continue to do so, not only undeterred but unaware of border closures.