Ethiopia Ever Willing to Repatriate Citizens, Over 400,000 Migrants Returned in 3 Years from Saudi Arabia

Addis Ababa: The Government of Ethiopia has repatriated more than 400,000 citizens from Saudi Arabia during the past 3 years consistent with its principle of never refusing to receive citizens from any country but operating on the basis of availability of resources and capacity.

A press release of Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the citizens were repatriated from  May 2017 to March 2020.

In addition, some 3,500 citizens were repatriated from April to July 2020 alone.

“Unfortunately, Ethiopia is the source, transit, and destination of migrants. And we have migrants problem in Africa and the Middle East countries at a higher scale,” the ministry said.

It pointed out that working with many stakeholders in Beirut it has been successful, and is working with the UN in Yemen and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

With an increasing number of migrants crossing the border into Saudi Arabia, the Ethiopian government is closely working with the Kingdom in many areas and assisting migrants being one of the priorities.

Since the number of migrants is enormous, following their cases has become a full-time engagement for many the diplomats in the Embassy in Riyadh and the consulate office in Jedda, it was learned.

The ministry noted that the number is escalating and Saudi Arabia is accepting them despite their increasing number in which the Government of Ethiopia is always thankful for that.

“Our mission in Saudi has assigned dedicated employees to be stationed and consistently visit the migrants at detention centers while the Ethiopian mission staff lends a hand when different problems arise and works with the Saudi authorities to resolve them,” the release elaborated

The Government of Ethiopia has extended its sincere appreciation to Saudi Arabia for the outstanding support extended to its citizens in general and Ethiopian irregular migrants in particular.

According to the press release, the Kingdom has always been willing to collaboratively work with the Government of Ethiopia at this difficult time and assisting the increasing number of migrants crossing the border despite the international pressure.

The ministry suggested that establishing a consultative body with Saudi Arabia is imperative to take the task of controlling and monitoring the cyclic out-migration of irregular migrants and to protect migrant rights.

The release revealed that the Ethiopian government was working with Saudi officials which  raised concerns about the increasing number of migrants crossing the Saudi border.

Accordingly, the mission has prioritized about 2,000 citizens and sent their details. The migrants will be repatriated beginning September 8 through October 6.

With a generous offer by Saudi Arabia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs have prepared a proposal helping to support projects in source regions to integrate returnees, it was learned.

Ethiopia has, on its part, increased the border checkpoints by establishing five more and planning to reach at least 27.


Source: Ethiopia News agency

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