Ethiopia Repatriates Nearly 2,000 Citizens from Saudi Arabia

ADDIS ABABA – Some 1,931 undocumented Ethiopian migrants have been repatriated from two Saudi Arabian cities in a single day, Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Six charter flights were used to repatriate the Ethiopians from the Gulf nation on Saturday, according to the ministry.

More than 1250 returnees airlifted from Riyadh while the remaining 679 came from Jeddah.

Returnees were accorded a welcome from officials of the Ministry of foreign affairs and other dignitaries upon their arrival at Bole International Airport.

Currently, thousands of Ethiopian migrants reportedly are held in the Kingdom’s detention centers with deplorable facilities.

Officials at the Ministry said the government plans to repatriate them all with the effort involving six flights per a day.

The process which started on Saturday morning will continue on a daily basis for at least two weeks, they said, adding more than 2,000 compatriots are expected to return in a day.

The Ethiopian delegation conferred with Saudi Arabian officials last Thursday regarding the protection of the rights of Ethiopian citizens in the country and further facilitates the repatriation process.

The meeting between the two sides reviewed the achievements and challenges of repatriating illegal migrants who are willing to return home based on their consent, and brought an agreement to speed up safe return of the citizens to home.