Hundreds of Ethiopians Repatriated from Saudi Arabia

ADDIS ABEBA – At least 400 Ethiopians who were languishing in a Saudi Arabian refugee camp have been repatriated on Friday, according to ministry of foreign affairs.

All of them reach the kingdom via the perilous Red Sea crossing from Djibouti to war-torn Yemen.

Most are escaping poverty and unemployment back home.

The ministry also said it has managed to repatriate over 1220 Ethiopians who embarked on a journey to Saudi but wanted to return voluntarily.

These Ethiopians came back home during the first quarter of the current fiscal year, said Nebiat Getachew, spokesperson of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at the press briefing.

Nebiat also said the ministry is also following closely what’s happening in Lebanon in recent weeks.

The country – over 400,000 Ethiopians currently live in – has been paralyzed for almost two weeks by protests demanding an end to corruption, an effective government, and economic reforms.

The spokesperson said the ministry has already established a task force and its members will soon head to Beirut, the capital city of Lebanon.

“We are to assessing the conditions of Ethiopians in that country,” he said, indicating the government is ready to support its citizens there both in financial and material – if the need arises.

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By Sisay Sahlu