Over 32,000 Ethiopian Migrants Repatriated in Three Months

ADDIS ABEBA – Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Monday it has repatriated over 32,500 Ethiopian nationals from several countries, in the past three months.

This was mentioned in the Ministry’s performance report for the first quarter of the current Ethiopian fiscal year, which has begun on July 8.

Foreign minister Gedu Andargachew said the Ethiopians came from more than 20 countries.

They have been stranded in “very difficult places”, he said while presenting the report to foreign relation and peace affairs standing committee of Ethiopian parliament.

Of the total number of people returned back to home, over 28,000 were men and 4,500 were women. Of these, about 700 were unaccompanied minors.

All of them came home through various joint efforts of host countries, Ethiopian Embassies, and international organizations, according to Gedu.

Currently, the ministry is working to repatriate 1,363 Ethiopians who are jailed in 24 Prisons of Tanzania and the other 150 citizens are living in a refugee camp in Puntland.

Last week, the ministry’s spokesperson Nebiat Getachew said the government is doing its level best to ensure the safety of its citizens through signing overseas employment agreements with a host of middle east countries, including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Jordan.

The agreements, Addis Ababa hopes, will help legalize the status of Ethiopian migrants and help protect its nationals from abuse.

Over the past three months, the Ethiopian government has issued licenses to 20 agencies to send daily labors to Middle East countries in a formal route, according to the Ministry’s quarterly performance report.

Over 900 overseas employment agencies that had applied during the period failed to meet the ministry’s minimum requirement to carry out the task.

Despite the government’s effort to make citizens going to Middle East nations, many still choose to take illegal routes in the hopes of moving on to wealthy Gulf Arab states and South Africa escaping poverty and unemployment at home.

Their journey does not usually be successful.

The Ministry’s report shows the bodies of over 50 Ethiopians have been repatriated from ten countries while other 68 bodies were buried in the countries where they were found dead.

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By Sisay Sahlu

[File Photo]