By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somaliland sun) – The immigration departments has issued a warning to foreigners living in the country and their local hosts to immediately report presence in lieu of severe repercussions when unearthed.
This warning was issued by the Somaliland principal immigration officer-PIO Colonel Mohamed Ali Yusuf ‘Ina Ambaro’ during as press briefing in Hargeisa where he revealed that a nationwide three days operation by his department has resulted in the arrest of over sixty illegal immigrants.
“Among the illegals netted in various parts of the country include citizens of Chad, Burundi and Ethiopia” said PIO Ina Ambaro adding that 11 passenger service vehicles-PSV owned or rented by human traffickers was captured laden with a large number of Ethiopians.
The flush out foreigners entering and living in Somaliland illegally which was the first of its nature encompassing the whole country simultaneously was undertaken by a recently graduated team of immigration officers with specialized training from the Sheikh Forces Academy.
The PIO who informed that the Human traffickers and sixty five of their cargo of illegal Ethiopians nabbed were immediately arraigned at a court in Gabile where the illegals were sentenced to six months imprisonment and subsequent deportation.
“The traffickers who are the main target of our anti-illegal i
mmigration are awaiting completion of their charge sheets though the 11 vehicles have already been confisticated by the state as is the law” said Colonel Ina Ambaro.
While informing that a large number of Yemenis living in the country illegal was also unearthed the PIO said that the government of Somaliland in consideration of the ongoing violence in their country has opted not to prosecute and deport them on condition that they immediately secure relevant registration.
Though the swoop reportedly to be of a regular nature and in pursuit of foreigners living in the country illegal and more so those on Tahrib – illegal immigration transit the swoop netted some unregistered foreigners running successful businesses and ironically, since many years past.
Col Ina Ambaro who revealed that special attention was given Hotels that provide lodgings urged prop rotors to ensure that all their guests have proper identification in which Somaliland citizens shall be required to provide their National ID while foreigners should have valid passports and visas.
Said he “If a foreigner without proper documentation is found in any Hotel owners shall not only lose their licenses but meet with the wrath of law” warned the PIO stressing that hitherto infrequent checks are now of a regular, daily nature”
Acknowledging that foreigners have in the past been able to enter the country at will said that the laxity by his department facilitating the same has changed to stringency more so in lieu of government policy intent on uplifting security nationwide.
Finally the Somaliland principal immigration officer Colonel Mohamed Ali Yusuf ‘Ina Ambaro’ commented the Kenyan community living and working in the country for continued cooperation and ongoing plans to establish a registered officer for their organization called KESOLAND (Kenyans in Somaliland)
Despite the eloquence of Ina Ambaro on the operation, arrests, prosecutions and warnings conspicuously missing was mention of the covertly –overt presence of a big number of Sri Lankans known to transit Somaliland for illegal immigration to Europe but stay in the guise of unskilled and skilled construction industry labourers,
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