Passengers fleeing war-torn Sudan cross into Egypt through the Argeen Land Port on May 12, 2023. AFP
“These measures aim to set an organisational framework for that process after more than 50 days since the outbreak of the crisis, and they are not intended to prevent or limit the number of Sudanese citizens entering Egypt,” the statement quoted Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ahmed Abu-Zeid as saying.
Abu-Zeid’s remarks came in response to inquiries by several diplomatic journalists on the reasons for the decision.
Egyptian authorities had so far exempted Sudanese women of all ages, children under 16 and anyone over 50 from having to obtain a visa prior to arrival at a point of entry.
gypt has received more than 200,000 Sudanese citizens since the outbreak of the crisis and until today, which makes the country the highest among Sudan's neighbouring countries in terms of the number of Sudanese brothers received, Abu-Zeid said.
The Sudanese who have fled the conflict represent an addition to the nearly 5 million Sudanese citizens who were already present in Egypt before the start of the crisis, the spokesperson noted.
He also stated that the responsibility for providing the Sudanese who have recently arrived in Egypt with health, education, and housing rests with the Egyptian government, which provides the basic services to the Sudanese citizens on its territory.
On the reasons behind the newly-imposed visa entry, Abu-Zeid revealed that illegal activities by individuals and groups on the Sudanese side of the border were recently detected, adding that these activities included forging entry visas to Egypt to make profits.
These groups exploit the need of Sudanese citizens to come to Egypt and the good intentions of the Egyptian side in responding to the crisis and absorbing such a massive influx of Sudanese to Egypt, he clarified.
As a result, Abu-Zeid noted, the Egyptian authorities introduced regulatory procedures based on automated visas to combat these crimes.
Moreover, he confirmed that the Egyptian consulates in Sudan were provided with the necessary electronic devices to carry out these procedures accurately and promptly, ensuring the orderly arrival of Sudanese citizens to Egypt.
The spokesperson said that there were rules and procedures governing the entry of Sudanese citizens into Egypt, adding that these rules were formulated by joint consular committees with the Sudanese side, the spokesperson said.
These committees, he added, convene regularly to review and update the relevant procedures according to developments in the situation and circumstances.