Over 28,000 Ethiopians Repatriated from Saudi Arabia in Two-month

ADDIS ABABA – More than 28,000 Ethiopians who were suffering in Saudi Arabia detention centres have been repatriated in the two months, authorities said.

The announcement was made during a meeting that the committee established to oversee the repatriation process held on Thursday.

The meeting assessed the challenges faced in the repatriation push that was launched on March 30, 2022, with a target to bring back a target to bring 102,000 citizens home within 11 months.

More than 28, 000 Ethiopians have been repatriated so far in the ongoing operation involving nine weekly flights.
At least 18, 670 of the returnees are women, according to the ministry of foreign affairs (MoFA).

The meeting noted that the government established nine makeshift centers equipped with full provisions of accommodations, including mattresses, personal hygiene items, and foodstuff to host the returnees.

Thursday’s review meeting has found several challenges that need to be addressed. They are related to implementing the rehabilitation plans, data management, and delayed baggage of the returnees, said MoFA.

Pressures to accommodate women and men returnees in similar makeshift canters has also been mentioned among the challenges.

State Minister and chair of the committee, Ambassador Birtukan Ayano said the task of repatriating Ethiopians from Saudi Arabia has continued according to the schedule. She urged stakeholders to work diligently and meet the objectives.

The State Minister also said the government will remain committed to citizen-centered diplomacy, stating plans are currently underway to repatriate Ethiopians from Tanzania, Sudan, Djibouti, Somalia, Yemen, and Oman.