ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia said on Saturday it will step up efforts to repatriate its undocumented citizens detained in Saudi Arabia refugee camps.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday said the repatriation effort will focus on bringing back Ethiopians who have been detained for more than a year.
“The repatriation of a large number of undocumented Ethiopian migrants who have been detained for more than a year inside Saudi Arabia refugee camps will begin today,” the ministry said in a brief statement.
The repatriation will be carried out with up to 6 flights per day, according to the ministry. “More than 2000 citizens are expected to return to Ethiopia from Saudi Arabia on June 26 alone,” the Ministry said.
In the coming two weeks, the country plans to repatriate more 40, 000 Ethiopians from Saudi Arabia, the spokesperson office of the ministry added.
The statement came immediately after some 380 Ethiopian migrants arrived at Bole International Airport on Saturday morning.
State Minister of Peace Fireale Shibabaw and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Ambassador Dina Mufti welcomed the returnees.
Four more flights are expected on the same day.
It is to be recalled that a delegation comprising officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia and other government agencies had left for Saudi Arabia on June 18 to discuss the situation of Ethiopian migrants in the gulf nation.
During its visit, the delegation had conferred with relevant Saudi Arabian officials regarding the protection of the rights of Ethiopian citizens in the country and further facilitates the repatriation process.
Featured Image: more than 380 undocumented Ethiopians have been airlifted from Saudi Arabia and arrived at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport on Saturday morning [Photo MoFA]