Government sending mixed signals on IGAD free movement proposal
Somalia’s Foreign Minister Ahmed Isse Awad has said that his government supports open borders in the IGAD region, despite government officials voting down a measure that would seek to achieve those goals on Monday.
Speaking to Africa 24 TV on Wednesday evening, Minister Awad said that he supports the IGAD proposal, saying that Somali’s would benefit greatly from free movement.
“We’re comfortable (with the open border) in fact we encourage it, we welcome the region’s borders to be open, the economy of the countries in the region to be integrated. Somalis & Somalia will benefit very much from such open border”.
He went on to say that he believes open borders should extend beyond IGAD and be discussed at the AU level to include the entire continent.
However, the Minister’s statements contradict a decision reached by the Somali government to not sign a deal that would allow the free movement of people.
Col. Mohamed Adan Jimale (Kofe), the Director of Immigration told reporters on Monday that the proposal was not in the best interest of Somalia since Somalia does not fully control it’s borders and lacks the proper legal structure.
Two of Somalia’s five borders are currently controlled by Somaliland.South Sudan, another IGAD country currently mired in conflict has also voiced concerns about the open border plan saying that such a move would not be in the nations best interest.
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