By Goth Mohamed Goth
The Chairman of Somaliland Diaspora Agency Mr. Abdi Abdillahi Hersi (Dayaxweraar) and Brigadier General Mohammed Osman Alin (Dayib), Director of the Immigration Department met on the Tuesday June 12th and had discussion on grievances and obstacles faced by the members of Somaliland Diaspora business community who invested the varied businesses in the country particularly in the issues of the foreign employees the entrepreneurs hire.
The SLDA Chairman accompanied with members of Diaspora business owners gave details of the Diaspora complaints on the foreign employees they bring from abroad particularly for certain specific skills and qualifications (Sometimes not locally available) but who happen to leave jobs of the sponsor employers and work for their competitors without consent of the sponsor business. And also others (Foreign employees) who are deported back to their countries and blacklisted due to work or culture abuses or failing to honor terms of the employment contract and terminated reasonably but who are then coming back to Somaliland doing jobs for competitors or doing businesses by themselves. The Diaspora business community who own a diverse range of businesses expressed their grievances in regard to such challenges and the lack of related law enforcement. They also pointed out that those problems are affecting only the Diaspora investors but to all employers of Somaliland nationals who may need to hire foreign employees.
On his part, Brigadier General Mohammed Osman Alin (Dayib), the Director of the Immigration Department flanked by the officers in charge of the visa and employment deeply explained to the members of the Diaspora business community on the regulatory policies, rules and procedures, and the problems which arise, the role of Immigration Department in the issues of foreign employees sponsorships, the generally need to foster close working relations with the various governmental departments including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its Foreign Missions issuing visas to the foreigners coming to Somaliland as avert technical hurdles. The Immigration Director also briefed on the wide range of activities which the Department of Immigration undertakes in safeguarding our borders be it land, maritime and airports, the Somaliland immigration history and past experiences, as well as recent achievements in the field of immigration service in Somaliland. General Dayib underlined that the current Somaliland Immigration Law needs some amendment to enable penalty of the foreign employees who violate the rules, or conduct any kind of mistreatment against citizens who sponsored them. He at the same time cited that such illegal shifting of the foreign staff is unfavorable to the security. “According to the law, every foreign employee brought by a local employer is under the responsibility of the sponsor and is registered by the |immigration, and so that leaving the sponsor without the notice of the Immigration is very risky and harmful to the security. As soon as such incidence happens, the sponsor should immediately inform the nearest Immigration Station because he is registered to your business and so still under your responsibility if he commits crime or he encounters a problem,” the Brigadier said. General Alin also blamed the local employers (Nationals) of not signing the Sponsorship Form of the Immigration, and not taking the procedure serious.
The two sides highlighted the importance of economic and employment opportunities brought by the Somaliland Diaspora who are returning back home to invest in the various businesses in Somaliland, contributing to the employment opportunities, and that they should be encouraged to invest and address those challenges which hinders their return and investment many in the country.
After several hours lasting discussion meeting, both parties and the members of the Diaspora business community agreed on several important points , while at the same time pleading to consult with the various stakeholders in a bid to solve the matters on hand such as the legislations, contract enforcement , investors rights and issues regarding laws in relation to hiring foreign labour.