Somaliland: Ethio-SL Cross Border Movement Tightened

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{jcomments on}As the depart deadline for illegal migrants comes to an end and Immigration department enters stringent coordination with Gabile regional authorities,

By: Yusuf M Hasan

Foreigners leaving in Somaliland illegally await registration at the Ministry of Restllement in Hargeisa 2

Somalilandsun – National, regional and Local governments authorities are in concerted efforts to ensure that rampant illegal migration is stemmed.

According to the Principal immigration officer-PIO, Colonel Mohamed Ali Yusuf ‘Ina Ambaro’ related agencies are fully prepared to ensure that the 31st January 2016 deadline imposed by the government for all illegal migrants to leave the country or legalize their stay is fully implemented.

This was revealed by Col Ina Ambaro in Gabile town where he is leading a high powered team of immigration officials for ongoing strategic planning meetings with Gabile regional authorities and local government heads.

Accompanied by his deputy the Somaliland PIO has so far met with the Deputy Gabile regional governor Ali Abdi Abdiaziz and the mayor of Gabile town Councilor Mohamed Amin Omar Abdi who was accompanied by clerk o his council.

Col Ambaro“Though the crackdown ordered by the administration takes place nationwide simultaneously the importance attached to Gabile pertains to the region being the gateway of illegal migrants” said the PIO adding that almost 95% of non registered foreigners enter the country through Wajale border point with Ethiopia.

In a recent strongly worded statement on new Security and Immigration guidelines issued by the administration of President Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo, the state warned that the continued and carte blanche prevalence of large numbers of foreigners living and working in Somaliland illegal shall no longer be tolerated.

The guidelines do not only target illegal’s but foreigners with valid visa who work in the country without permits thus also ordered to acquire relevant legalities before expiry of the grace period in lieu of deportation mostly Ethiopia where the large number of manual workers emanate from and Kenyans whose majority is mid level technocrats oriented especially in Education and health sectors.

In a pilot campaign to test the strategies established to remove all illegal migrants security forces in various parts of the country have so far arrested over hundreds of targeted individuals mostly from the Ethiopian tribe of Oromo.

In the meantime hundreds of Ethiopians are registering at the ministry of Resettlement in Hargeisa where the immigration department has set a special registration office for all illegal migrants wishing to continue their stay in Somaliland.

“I paid $20 to legalize my stay though a national of Somaliland had to sponsor me as an employee” Kayo a casual labourer from Ethiopia formerly illegal revealed to Somalilandsun during a spot check at the ministry of resettlement where UNHCR has also set shop renewing documents for asylum seekers some of them for the tenth year.

For these Ethiopians living in Somaliland illegally anxiety is the order as they await registration at the Ministry of Restllement in Hargeisa

Reiterating that the vacate order issued by the state shall be implemented fully come February first and onwards the minister of Interior Mohamed Ali Waran’ade said that those seeking to legalize their stay shall be issued relevant permission upon satisfyingly conditions without discrimination based on country of origin.

“As has been misconstrued the crackdown on illegal migrants does not target Oromo’s from Ethiopia nor citizens of neighbouring Somalia” said Waran’ade while stressing that insinuations that Somaliland is part of Somalia thence citizens from that country can enter, live and work in Somaliland freely is wrong and errant’s shall face wrath of law come February and henceforth.

On the other side the Ethiopian government has acknowledged tacit approval and support of the crackdown on illegal migrants by Somaliland authoritiesMinister Waranade most of whom are from the neighbouring country.

In a recent interview with Somalilandsun the political and economic affairs Counselor at the Federal Democratic republic of Ethiopia General Consulate in Hargeisa Ageze Amelo revealed that the government in Addis Ababa is concerned about the increase lose to life courtesy of illegal immigration and is cooperating with local authorities to crush the strong network of Human Traffickers plying the two countries.

Somaliland has been inundated by dual status of illegal immigrants namely those in Somaliland to stay and those in transit to Gulf countries via Bosaso mostly from Ethiopia and Somalis running away from Al-shabaab terrorists, the lot under mastery charge by human traffickers also includes others from as far away as Bangladesh and Sri lanka.

As he acknowledge the confluence of Ethiopians to Somaliland illegally the Ethiopian diplomat informed that that joint efforts are now operational towards elimination of a very strong network of human traffickers plying between his country and Somaliland with Puntland as the destination for subsequent dispatch to the Gulf countries in ramshackle boats.

Queried on reports that the Somaliland crackdown is only Targeting Oromo’s thence his country’s hand in lieu of recent acrimonious that erupted between that tribe and Federal government in Ethiopia over acquisition of tribal lands towards expansion of the capital city Counselor stated that the Addis Ababa master plan has been shelved and differences ended amicably thus negating the Oromo targeting for repatriation from Somaliland

on security in which the two neighbouring countries are in close cooperation the Counselor in-charge of political and economic affairs at the Ethiopian consulate in Hargeisa wondered how it happens that illegal immigration from his country by mostly Oromo’s has intensified while the regular Yemen transit to the Gulf is in a deadly war that has seen thousands of its citizens escape as far as Somaliland

“it is suspicious that the regular Yemen illegal immigration route to the Gulf is now very volatile due to war but the number of people pursuing illegal immigration there is increasing” said Counselor Amelo while revealing that the irregular movement is being investigated on a security angle considering the prevalence of terrorist organizations in his country aligned to some tribes whose youth are a majority of illegal’s.

The first Batch of arrested illegal migrants from Ethiopia is deported back home

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