ADDIS ABABA – More than 1, 320 Ethiopian nationals have been airlifted as the authorities continue repatriating citizens living in difficult conditions in Saudi Arabia on Friday.
Three flights with a combined total of 1, 322 Ethiopians onboard have landed at Addis Ababa airport today, according to the spokesperson office of the ministry of foreign affairs.
Almost all of the returnees from the city of Jeddah were women (878) with children (444), , according to the spokesperson office.
Authorities started airlifting its nationals from the Gulf nation on Wednesday, March 30, 2022, with a plan to bring 102, 000 Ethiopians detained in Saudi prisons back home.
Including arrivals today, more than 6, 400 Ethiopians who were in detention centers and prisons in Saudi Arabia have been airlifted, so far.
Most of the arrivals have joined their families after a brief stay in makeshift centers established to host the returnee and received support of various kinds, officials say.
A national committee, composed of 16 government offices and leading the repatriation activity, said bringing the Ethiopians back to their home nation will go ahead for the next seven months.
Authorities have scheduled at least three daily flights in three days every week.
An estimated 750,000 Ethiopians currently live in Saudi Arabia. Of these, 450,000 entered the country without a legal document, according to official estimates.