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Ethiopia to reopen the borders to neighboring countries

Ethiopia is opening only Six borders by the end of this month

September 21, 2020 

The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia’s Immigration Nationality and Vital Events Agency announced on Monday that it is reopening six borders to neighboring countries. 

Those opening this month are in the West, South, South East, and South Western parts of Ethiopia, as reported by the state media Fana Broadcasting Corporate (FBC).

The Director of the Agency Tamiru Ubetu said that borders in the Somali, Gambella, Benishangul, and Southern Ethiopia will be opened as of this month. It is indicated that the decision to open the six borders came following a joint study with other stakeholders.  It is implied that Ethiopia’s northern border will remain closed. 

The borders were closed as part of the prevention of the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic in March 2020. At the time, there were reports about the illegal entry of Coronavirus infected people – especially in the southeastern parts of the country.  

Increasing the number of borders 

The Director of the immigration agency said that the number of border checkpoints that Ethiopia currently has is not enough given the length of Ethiopia’s border areas. 

And the Ethiopian government is working to increase the number to twelve. Some of the new checkpoints are already operational although they are not officially launched, as reported by FBC.

Furthermore, Mr. Tamiru is cited as saying that work is underway to finalize infrastructural necessity to ensure that the checkpoints have international standards.  

For the director, the reopening of the borders is essential to control illegal entry to the country. 

Last week, Ethiopia announced that it will have a tight border control in connection with newly introduced new banknotes to control billions of Ethiopian birr that are said to be available in the neighboring countries. 

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