The Hajj sees pilgrims from all around the world descend on Makkah to take part in the annual pilgrimage. It is a dream for millions and those who go on Hajj come back with stories of how they met people from so many different nationalities and backgrounds during their stay in Saudi.
But unfortunately in this Hajj pilgrims will not get to meet pilgrims of one country – the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
According to the Arabian Business, the suspension comes after an Ebola outbreak in DR Congo’s eastern provinces.
DRC pilgrims not permitted this year. Saudi Arabia has banned entry to travelers from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, fearing Ebola may spread at next month's Hajj pilgrimage. pic.twitter.com/OBL7i9HC8p
— James Hall (@hallaboutafrica) July 31, 2019
Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: “The granting of arrivals visas for people entering from DRC has been stopped, to conserve the well-being of pilgrims.”
Muslims form about 12% of the population of DR Congo as per the Pew Research Forum.
This isn’t the first time Saudi Arabia has cancelled visas of pilgrims. During the previous Ebola outbreak, around 7,000 visas were cancelled for pilgrims hailing from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.