By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – Foreigners Visiting Ethiopia shall cough a few dollars more as entry visa charges as per the government of Ethiopia.
This was revealed to Somalilandsun by the Somaliland based Ethiopian General Consulate head for consular section Mulugeta Anagaw in Hargeisa where he also informed that the new fees shall became effective as from 1st Dec of the Ethiopian Calendar which is 10th Dec 2014 of the globally used Gregorian calendar.
Accordingly the new Ethiopian visa charges are
I. $40 for One month Single entry, up from usual $20
II. $60 for three months single entry up from $30 and
III. $70 for three months multiple entry up from $30
Terming the new figures as none specific to Somalilanders attaché Mulugeta said that all visitors’ regardless of country of origin will pay the same fees thus putting things in context as per those locals wishing to travel to the neighbouring country for various purposes.
He said, “These new charges are what the Ethiopian Embassies and consulates worldwide shall require all those wishing to visit our country and upon fulfilling all relevant visas requirements”
Apart from fulfilling similar conditions and paying the same visa fees with citizens of other countries wishing to visit Ethiopia, the government in Ethiopia has added stipulations for Somalilanders which entails visa applicants to posses the newly introduced Somaliland e-passport.
Meanwhile “Entry to Ethiopia for Somalilanders in possession of the old passport shall cease on 31st Dec 2014” said attaché Mulugeta while elaborating that “this development has been reached through joint consultations between the Ethiopian Consulate in Hargeisa and the Somaliland department of Immigration”.
According to a senior Somaliland immigration officer in Hargeisa who preferred to remain anonymous, the Somaliland government submitted a letter to the Ethiopian Consular General Brigadier Berhe Tesfaye immediately the e-passport was launched requesting citizens be allowed to utilize the old passport until December 2014.
Mr.Mulugeta Anagaw also confirmed his office’s receipt of a letter of request and added that “This request emanated from the need to avail the Somaliland immigration department sufficient time for servicing applications of the e-passport that had reportedly encountered some logistic difficulties as a result of the huge numbers of simultaneous applicants for e-passport from all over the country”.
Queered on the average visa applications received by the Ethiopian Consulate, Mulugeta Anagaw said that a regular day sees around 50 applications from Somalilanders and sometimes they are inundated by courtesy of applications from foreigners residing in Somaliland.
“Apart from usual conditions for visa applications, non Somaliland citizens approaching the Ethiopian Consulate in Hargeisa have to prove their legal entry and obtain the necessary resident permit in Somaliland” said attaché Mulugeta.
Ethiopia which shares a common border with Somaliland and among the first to second a fully fledged and resident Diplomat to Hargeisa, is a favourite destinations for citizens of this country whose Sovereignty is yet be recognized, especially as pertains to quest for medical services , inter-country trade and higher or specialized education.
While relations between the two countries has remained cordial the impetus of the indefatigable head of the Ethiopian Consulate General Brigadier Berhe Tesfaye has seen an enhancement in tangible working relations established especially as pertains to effective cooperation in cross-border security and trade and Diplomatic relations among many.
Brigadier Tesfaye, who is credited with the brotherly relations existing between Somaliland and Ethiopia, is behind efforts to have stronger trade and infrastructural interconnections of the two sides including through railway, road and electricity.
While the diplomatic efforts pursued by the Brigadier, a former Ethiopian military official towards establishing and sustaining a jointly beneficial good neighborly policy, is reckoned within the two capitals of Addis Ababa and Hargeisa the seal of ultimate success was the recent arrival of high powered ministerial delegation from Addis whose subsequent official engagements culminated in the signing of a meaningful Memorandum of Understanding towards Enhancement of Economic Interdependence and a naming of 14 member “Joint Ministerial Commission” which will work to ensure a signing of a “Comprehensive Economic and Security Cooperation Agreement” as soon as possible.
Somaliland: Pact with Ethiopia to Enhance Economic interdependence
Somaliland: “Port and Fuel Depot Facilities plus Logistics Satisfactory for Trade” Ethiopian Government Delegation