Close to 100, 000 Africans Takes Illegally Route to the Gulf Annually

ADDIS ABEBA – Tens of thousands of Africans seek passage every year to the Middle East, crossing hundreds of desert miles towards the continent’s eastern coastline on trails as old as mankind itself.

Exact numbers of irregular migrants are unknown, says International Organization for Migration (IOM) on Friday.

It, however, estimates that “between 80,000 to 100,000 irregular migrants take to Africa’s Eastern migratory route every year”.

And, for the first time, IOM’s Ethiopia Office has published a Flow Monitoring Survey Report on the movement of migrants.

“Key findings show that most of the 1,855 migrants surveyed, who were 69 per cent male and 21 per cent female, were unemployed prior to their departure,” said Cecilia Thiam, IOM Ethiopia’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) program manager.

“The primary country of departure amongst respondents was Ethiopia, followed by Sudan and Djibouti and the primary intended final destinations included the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Ethiopia,” explained Thiam.

DTM Ethiopia’s February 2020 Flow Monitoring Registry dashboard reflects 10,907 observed movements across the country’s five flow monitoring points.

Of these movements, 72 per cent were outgoing, with a majority headed to Saudi Arabia, and 28 per cent were incoming, most of which came from Sudan, according to IOM.

Ethiopia is the most popular route for African migrants trying to reach the Gulf and Far East. It is also a country of origin producing migrants, a destination and a transit for migrants.

Over 62 percent of migrants cited economic reasons as the main motivating factor behind their movements, and perceived job opportunities, the monitoring survey report says.

The monitoring is used at five flow monitoring points in Humera, Dawaale, Tog Wujale, Metema and Galafi, in the northern, north-western and north-eastern border of the country.

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