South Sudan implements visa waiver for Ugandans
The South Sudanese government has implemented a waiver on visa restrictions for Ugandan nationals holding valid passports.
It comes a week after Uganda waived visa requirements for South Sudanese entering the Pearl of Africa with a 30-day ultimatum for Juba to reciprocate.
In the statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Friday, the government said it has acted on the principle of reciprocation.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of South Sudan welcomes the decision of the Government of the sisterly Republic of Uganda to waive entry visa requirements for the citizens of the Republic of South Sudan with effect from 1st October 2021,” the statement read in part.
“In the principle of reciprocity, the Government of the Republic of South Sudan today has directed the Ministry of Interior through its Directorate of Nationality, Passports, and Immigration to waive visa entry requirements for Ugandan citizens holding valid passports issued by the Government of the Republic of Uganda with effect from Monday, October 4th, 2021,” it added.
The statement says diplomatic missions and embassies have been told to follow and implement the new directive.
“All entry and exit points including our missions and embassies abroad are directed to comply with the directive.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of South Sudan hails this move as a significant booster to the already existing stronger bilateral relations with the Republic of Uganda,” it added.
Uganda is the latest East African country to implement the visa waiver agreement with South Sudan.
In July this year, South Sudan and Kenya reached an agreement to remove visa restrictions for nationals holding valid passports from the two countries.
EAC Secretary-General, Hon. Dr. Peter Mathuki welcomed the move saying it was in line with the decision announced by the Chair of the EAC Heads of State, Uhuru Kenyatta, during the 21st Ordinary Summit of the EAC Heads of State held on February 27, 2021.
According to Article 10 of the EAC Common Market Protocol, citizens of EAC Partner States are at liberty to accept employment within the territories of Partner States other than their own.
Article 7 of the EAC Common Market Protocol stipulates that ‘The EAC Partner States shall ensure non‐discrimination of the citizens of the other Partner States based on their nationalities by ensuring entry of citizens of the other Partner States into the territory of the Partner State without a visa and free movement of persons who are citizens of the other Partner States within the territory of the Partner State.’
It further outlines that, ‘EAC citizens are allowed to stay in the territory of a Partner State and exit without restrictions.’