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South Sudan to review travel visa protocol

Wolfgang H. Thome, eTN  Jul 17, 2011

(eTN) - The former liaison offices of the South Sudan have been turned into full-fledged embassies only days after the South attained the long-awaited independence from the regime in Khartoum, and several ambassadors were already appointed across East Africa.

Now that the United Nations have formally admitted the Republic of South Sudan as its 193rd member country, the government in Juba is stepping up efforts to have its own foreign diplomatic missions put into place while the world is rushing to Juba to open their own embassies, to promote bilateral relations and in particular trade.

Sources close to the tourism ministry in Juba have also confirmed that the entire visa and arrival/post-arrival protocol is being reviewed in coming weeks and months, to establish mechanisms to eventually grant visa on arrival, instead of having to pre-obtain a visa in advance, which is seen as a deterrent to promoting the flow of visitors.

Also under review is the old archaic regulation of having to register with internal security after being cleared at the airport, a rule imposed by the former regime in Khartoum which was paranoid about controlling the movement of visitors, not just in the North but also in the South. ‘We know this is a bit of a problem for tourists’ the source on condition of anonymity said before adding ‘when tourists fly to Juba and want to fly immediately to our parks, like to Boma, then there is no time to go to the city and follow such old fashioned rules. They need to be able to fly to the parks, have a good safari and then fly back to Juba airport for their departure. This we must facilitate if we want more tourists to come here. We are soon going to start work on streamlining such issues’.

Potential visitors should consult the nearest embassy of the Republic of South Sudan to ascertain what exactly will be required at this moment in time or else consult with their respective safari operators to avoid disappointment.

South Sudan to review travel visa protocol
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