South Sudan, Ethiopia to open borders
The Director-General of the Directorate of Nationality, Passports, Immigration, and Civil Registry Lt Gen. Atem Marol Biar has said South Sudan and Ethiopia have agreed to open two border points to ease the movement of people and goods.
Lt Gen Atem said they have already opened the border of Pagak leading to the Gambela region of neighbouring Ethiopia.
He said they were also planning to open the borders of Kibish and Rarar, and urged the citizens of the two countries to cooperate with the immigration officers who will be working at the borders.
Gen Atem was addressing a press conference yesterday after the meeting with the Ethiopian Ambassador to South Sudan Nebil Mahdi Abdullahi.
“We have already opened the border of Pagak, I have sent somebody there because we have a plan for opening the borders of Kibish and Rarar. We want our people from the two countries to benefit from this movement and they have to cooperate in all areas,” he said.
Gen Atem also briefed ambassador Nebil on foreign national registration that had been carried out by the department of immigration and civil registry, stressing that the registration was meant to benefit South Sudan and other countries whose nationals are in the country.
“Ambassador, what I will tell you is that I am ready to receive information from you from time to time and the registration we made is for the benefit of the two countries. We will give the data of the Ethiopians who are here and the business they are doing as soon as we complete so that you have the data and everything about your people who are here,” Gen Atem told the ambassador Nebil.
He said the objective of registering foreign nationals was to organise them so that they could be protected by the government as well as to help the government in curbing crimes.
“We don’t have any problem with the people but for us, we want to organise them and guide them so that services are delivered to them because whoever is here is under our protection and to protect a person you must protect the person you know,” Gen Atem said.
He said the search operation had borne fruits because the government officials currently know the details of the foreign nationals.
“We have known the area where Ugandans are leaving in and we know the business the Ethiopians are doing. We know the business Somalis are doing and what remains for us is to protect and guide them so that they leave peaceful,” he said.
Last month, Gen Atem said the border of Akobo had been opened and an immigration office had been established to ensure people entering through the border were registered with legal documents.