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Members of Parliament have blasted the heads of the Immigration and Citizenship Service (ICS) for lapses in administration and the lack of use of technology in border security.

Agency heads admitted that weakened border control has allowed illegal migration to and from the country to flourish.

Etsegenet Mengistu, chair of the parliamentary standing committee for Legal, Justice and Democracy Affairs, said the committee has noted that people come into the country to claim passports even though they are not Ethiopian.

“This illustrates that border control isn’t being carried out properly. ICS oversees borders but it isn’t doing enough,” said Etsegenet.

Assessments conducted by the committee found an alarming lack of use of technology in border control, where agents far and wide still depend on physical inspections and documents for identification at checkpoints.

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“What is being done to improve the issues at the borders? What are you doing to solve these problems?” Etsegenet asked. “I think the borders don’t get enough attention, and the responsibility should be with the management of the institution.”

Immigration’s director general, Selamawit Dawit, acknowledged the issues arose on the border controls.

“We have to improve. Ethiopia has the potential to do better than this,” Selamawit responded to the MPs.

The Service has requested a supplementary budget to improve border control systems, which the Director-General said is over two decades old and has several flaws. Selamawit also called on neighboring countries to cooperate in border control.

ICS oversees 18 border checkpoints as well as three airports and train stations, according to the Service’s nine-month performance report. It has serviced close to four million people crossing the border at these checkpoints over the period.

“We control all border checkpoints except the Metemma checkpoint, which isn’t being covered due to the recent issues,” said the ICE representative.

#Immigration #Officials #Hot #Water #Weak #Border #Control

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