All people of the neighboring Sudan, which has been embroiled in a violent conflict since mid-April, have been informed that beginning of this coming Saturday, they must obtain a visa in order to enter Egypt.
About 200,000 Sudanese nationals have entered Egypt since violence broke out between two opposing generals competing for control in Sudan, most of them through land crossings, Cairo reported.
Sudanese women of all ages, kids under 16, and those over 50 had up until this moment been excused from needing a visa before arriving at a point of entry.
Cairo’s foreign ministry announced the new rules in a statement on Saturday, defending the action as a fight on “illegal activities” including fraud.
According to the statement, the authorities instituted visa regulations to control “the entry of the brotherly Sudanese (people) into Egypt after more than 50 days of crisis” in their nation.
It said that the new requirements were not designed to “prevent or limit” the entry of Sudanese nationals, but rather to stop “illegal activities by individuals and groups on the Sudanese side of the border, who forged entry visas” for profit.
Sudan has been rocked by nearly two months of intense battles between the regular army, led by Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), commanded by Burhan’s former deputy Mohamed Hamdan Daglo.
The Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project estimates that over 1,800 individuals have died in the conflict. The true cost could be substantially greater, according to aid organizations and international organizations.
Nearly two million Sudanese have been uprooted, according to the International Organization for Migration, including 476,000 who have sought safety in neighboring nations.
“Egypt has welcomed more than 200,000 Sudanese citizens since the start of the crisis… adding to the approximately five million Sudanese citizens who were already present” in the country before the war, the foreign ministry statement said.
According to directives given by Egyptian authorities at two border crossings with Sudan over the previous two days, “entry into Egypt is allowed only after obtaining a visa, for all age groups and genders.” This information has been published by Sudanese media and certain social media users.
The Sudanese consulates have been given “the necessary electronic devices to carry out these regulations in a precise, rapid, and safe manner, ensuring the orderly entry of Sudanese citizens,” the Egyptian foreign ministry emphasized in a statement.