Ethiopia Airlifts nearly 42, 000 citizens from Saudi Arabia

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia has repatriated close to 42, 000 of its citizens who were stranded in detention centers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), an official said on Thursday.

The East African nation has been airlifting more than 2, 000 of its nationals a day from the gulf nation in a two-week repatriation push.

“Over 139 flights were made over mid-June up to the beginning of July,” revealed Ambassador Dina Mufti, spokesperson of the Ministry of foreign Affairs, during a press conference today.

“And 41,873 of our citizens were repatriated,” he said, as part of the government effort that started after talks with relevant Saudi Arabian officials.

“The government of Ethiopia and KSA are having a series of discussions on the protection of the rights of the remaining Ethiopian citizens in Saudi Arabia,” he added.

Meanwhile, the spokesperson said the government is closely following what is happening in South Africa where many Ethiopians reside.

The South African nation has been experiencing deadly unrest and looting following the jailing of former President Jacob Zum.

“Our embassy in South Africa has been closely following what is happening in the country lately and its effect on our citizens residing there,” he said.

The death toll from the unrest has reached 337, according to media reports.
Ambassador Dina said the Ethiopian embassy has not reported any “causality so far except indiscriminate destruction of properties”.


[Featured Photo File/MoFA]