Government plans to give Algerians free visas

Thursday November 15 2018

Internal affairs minister Jeje Odongo

Internal affairs minister Jeje Odongo  

By Stephen Otage

Kampala. The Ministry of Internal Affairs has said government is in advanced stages to start allowing Algerian nationals free entry visas in order to strengthen diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Speaking during Algeria’s 64th independence day anniversary celebrations on Tuesday, Internal Affairs Minister Gen Jeje Odongo, said this is part of the bilateral services agreement between Uganda and Algeria aimed at promoting tourism and investment between the two countries.
He said Algeria is hosting key African security institutions and there is a lot for both countries to learn from each other.
“Since 1986, Uganda and Algeria established core areas of cooperation in education and now we are pursuing vocational education in oil and gas but we have realised that there is less physical interaction between Ugandans and Algerians,” he said.
Gen Odongo said it’s for this reason that government has waived visa fees for Algerian diplomatic and official passport holders.
According to Farid Boulahbel, the Algerian ambassador to Uganda, the Algerian national day is a historic event for Algerians and liberation movements in Africa because it brought an end to the 134 years of imperialism which liberated Algerians from severe poverty and illiteracy.
He said the independence was not achieved on a silver platter as they had to make considerable sacrifices.
“We lost Algerians, villages were destroyed, 1.2 million Algerians were displaced. We had high levels of illiteracy and poverty,” he said and added that the country today has free compulsory education, affordable housing, free medical care and decolonisation of Africa as some of the achievements that the Algerian revolution ushered in.
“Algeria supported African liberation struggles like the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa. We are supporting the negotiations between Morocco and Polisario which reflects the will to give independence status to Western Sahara,” Boulahbel said.
He added that Algeria has also been involved in other campaigns such as the plunder Mali’s natural resources which resulted in the disarmament and resettlement of the forces which were against the Mali government.