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Uganda agrees to scrap visa fees for S Sudanese

Author: Emmanuel Akile | Published: Thursday, September 16, 2021

Kampala, Uganda | file picture

The government of Uganda has approved a visa waiver for eligible South Sudanese nationals, an MP representing South Sudan at the East Africa Legislative Assembly has said.

According to Hon. Kim Gai, both the ministries of interior and foreign affairs of Uganda have lifted visa restrictions on South Sudanese.

However, he revealed that this will be effective as soon as the government of South Sudan reciprocates.

“We are waiting for the ministers of interior and foreign affairs of South Sudan to reply to the Republic of Uganda officially,” Hon. Gai told Eye Radio on Wednesday.

The move, it added, was occasioned by the warm and cordial relations between Kenya and South Sudan.

During the 21st Ordinary Summit of the East African Community Heads of State in Nairobi in February 2021, President Salva Kiir appealed to the neighboring countries for a visa waiver, particularly between South Sudan, Kenya, and Uganda.

He argued that easing movement restrictions would facilitate trade and investment in the region.

The three east African countries charge $50 for a single entry visa for ordinary citizens.

But in July this year, Kenya waived visa fees for eligible South Sudanese.

This, according to the Kenyan foreign ministry, was in adherence to the provisions of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community, and The Common Market Protocol on Free Movement of labor and persons for the citizens of partner States adopted on November 20, 2009.

South Sudan was admitted into the East African Community as the sixth member state in March 2016.

The membership of South Sudan increased the common market of the East African Community to 162 million people.

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