Somali pilgrims who are planning for Hajj this year will receive their visa through the electronic procedure, the government has confirmed.
The Minister for religious endowment, Sheikh Noor Mohamed Hassan has told the media that his ministry together with Saudi counterpart will coordinate on the process to issue the vital document in Mogadishu.
“The ministry of religious affairs signed an agreement with Saudi Hajj ministry to facilitate the issuance of the visa for Somali citizens this year.” Sheikh Noor said.
Previously Somali Hajj goers were forced to seek Saudi visa at the embassy in neighboring Kenya but that will no longer be applicable from now on.
“There were more than 9,300 passports airlifted to the Saudi Arabia embassy in Kenya for visa process previously, some were lost in the process, you can understand the challenge but that will not be the case from now on.” The Minister said.
The ministry further said that the government will generate revenue from the process apart from making the procedure easier for the religious journey to Hajj.
The number of pilgrims slated for Somali citizens by the Saudi authorities was increased from 9,300 to 11,500 this year.
They are expected to join more than two million Muslims to perform religious duty in August this year.