By Sebit Patrick, CBN
South Sudan and Uganda have successfully reached a deal to waive visa fee at entry points across the two countries. This move will see eligible citizens from both country access both sides un-abated.
On the 23rd September 2021, the Ugandan Minister for East African Affairs Hon. Rebecca Kadaga states that the decision to waive visa fees is centered on the decision by the heads of the state of the East African community made in 2016 to allow free movement of people as per the common market protocol.
“Effected first of October this year, the right of free access to Uganda to the citizen of South Sudan will be implemented but it will be in a reciprocal basis,” the Ugandan Minister for East African Affairs said on Thursday.
The waiver supports eligible South Sudanese Citizens holding valid passport from the South Sudan’s ministry of interior to enter Uganda without obtaining visa.
However, the minister tasked South Sudan to counter waive visa fee for eligible Ugandan citizens visiting South Sudan to also reciprocate within the period of a month.
“We have given them [South Sudan] up to the 31st of October to comply and if they don’t we will reinstate the payment.” Rebecca adds.
In a letter seen by CBN, Uganda’s ministry of internal affairs through the office of the director citizenship and immigration control directed all immigration offices to recognize the protocol on the free movement of persons within the region
“This is therefore to notify you that with effect on 1st October, 2021, citizens of the Republic of South Sudanese will not be required to pay visa entry fee to enter into the republic of Uganda.” Uganda’s ministry of internal affairs said in a statement.
In a letter making rounds, the South Sudan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Corporation on the 1st October hails the move to waive the visa fee as a booster to the already existing bilateral relationship with the Republic of Uganda.
The ministry in a spirit of reciprocity waived visa fee for Ugandan citizens with effect Monday 04th October 2021.
“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, Passport and Immigration to waive visa entry requirement for Ugandan citizens holding valid passport issued by the government of the Republic of Uganda, with effect from Monday 4th October 2021” Reads part of the letter.