Amidst fragile ceasefires and ongoing conflict in Sudan nearing its second month, the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced a new mandate requiring all Sudanese nationals to obtain visas before entering Egyptian territories.
According to ministry spokesperson, Ahmed Abu Zeid, Egypt has initiated a new policy demanding all Sudanese to secure visas prior to entering the country, following the detection of “illegal activities”, including the issuance of counterfeit visas. Abu Zeid clarified that the intention of these measures is not to prevent or limit incoming numbers. In fact, since the crisis broke out, Egypt has welcomed over 200,000 citizens.
Abu Zeid mentioned that these numbers are in addition to the approximate 5 million Sudanese already residing in Egypt before the crisis onset, highlighting that the responsibility of providing the essential health, education, and housing infrastructure for all these people falls on the Egyptian government.
Over the past period, a rise in unlawful activities conducted by individuals and groups on the Sudanese side of the border has been noted. These activities include forging entry visas to Egypt for profit, exploiting the needs of citizens to come to Egypt and the goodwill of the Egyptian side to respond and accommodate large influxes of newcomers.
In response to these criminal activities, Egyptian authorities have introduced regulatory measures relying on verifiable visas. The Egyptian consulates in Sudan have been supplied with the necessary electronic equipment to implement these measures swiftly, accurately, and securely, ensuring the orderly arrival of citizens to Egypt, according to the spokesperson of the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The spokesperson confirmed that the process of citizens entering Egypt is subject to rules and procedures which are established and regulated through joint consular committees with Khartoum, and these meet continually to review and update related procedures.